Introduction: Malaria and malnutrition coexist within the poorest regions of the world. In the regions of Colombia where malaria is endemic, malnutrition is also a public health problem.
Objective: The prevalence of malnutrition in children with malaria was determined and several factors associated with malnutrition were identified.
Materials and methods: A total of 93 children with malaria were included. They resided in the municipalities of Turbo and El Bagre (Antioquia, Colombia) and volunteered for an experimental, study to evaluate the outcome of an antimalarial treatment with a vitamin A supplement and an anti-intestinal parasite treatment administered as a single dose. At enrollment, the nutritional status was evaluated by anthropometry, and a survey questionnaire was administered about economic and social conditions of the family.
Results: Prevalence of moderate or severe chronic malnutrition was 22.6%-10.8% of children had moderate or severe global malnutrition and 2.3% had acute malnutrition. The prevalence of malnutrition was higher in males and in children from Turbo.
Conclusions: Prevalence of malnutrition was higher than previously reported by the National Health and Demography Survey (2005) and, in Turbo, the prevalence was higher than that reported for the rest of the Urabá region of Antioquia.