Heliyon. 2022 Aug 17;8(8):e10285. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2022.e10285. eCollection 2022 Aug.
BACKGROUND: Moringa stenopetala is used for medicinal and nutritional purposes. This study was, therefore, conducted to assess the contribution of Moringa stenopetala based diet in reducing under nutrition in under-five children in four districts of Southern Ethiopia.
METHOD: A community-based comparative cross-sectional study design was employed from August to September 2016 in randomly selected comparative sites among 732 under five children. Anthropometric measurements of weight and height of children were measured based on the standard measurement protocol. Regarding moringa stenopetala diet, the consumption habit was collected by using a seven days food frequency questionnaire. Amount of moringa stenopetala leaf biomass portion size consumption was measured with local measurement and converted to kilograms. Anthropometric data were analyzed using WHO Anthro software to determine the nutritional status of the child. An independent t-test was conducted to compare the mean difference of WHO-Z score of child nutritional index. Statistical mean significance difference was measured based on p-value less than 0.05 with 95% confidence level. In addition chi-square test with a p-value, less than 0.05 with a 95% confidence level was used to compare the prevalence of stunting, wasting, and underweight in moringa stenopetala based diet and non-moringa stenopetala based diet consuming area.
RESULT: The prevalence of stunting was 19% vs. 28.8%, wasting 4.7% vs. 9.6%, and underweight 12.19% vs 13.71% in moringa stenopetala based diet consuming and non-consuming participants respectively. There was a significant difference in stunting and wasting (p < 0.05) among moringa stenopetala based diet-consuming and non-consuming participants. Conclusion: The present study showed that moringa stenopetala based diet consumption had a significant contribution in reducing under-nutrition in under-five children.