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Title: Nutritional Status Of Under Five Year Old Burmese Refugee Children In Thailand 
Author: Faraj, Nancy
Date: 2005-05
Abstract: Acute and chronic malnutrition are associated with disease and death. Prevalence of acute malnutrition is positively correlated with children's mortality rates in refugee camps (Mason 2002). Children under-five have the highest death rates of all refugees (Toole 1988 et al.). It is thought that malnutrition related morbidity and mortality is preventable (Allen and Gillespie 2001, Toole and Waldman 1993). Assessment of nutritional status with anthropometry is practical and acceptable on an international level (Allen and Gillespie 2001) (Appendix A). Furthermore, research suggests that the ability to monitor a population over time helps identify the effectiveness of interventions (Peck et al. 1981). Baseline prevalence data and monitoring malnutrition are necessary to evaluate and implement adequate program support to refugees. At the Thai-Burmese refugee camps, nutrition assessments are not conducted regularly; however health agencies provide monthly growth monitoring. A chronic malnutrition prevalence of 36% was found in the largest Burmese refugee camp on the Thai-Burmese border by Banjong et al. (2003). The researchers conducted a dietary assessment that included food weighing, anthropometric measurements, and a questionnaire comprising consumption patterns, resources and dietary intake questions on 182 households. It was expected that this prevalence was border wide. Kemmer et al. (2003) collected blood samples in five out of ten Burmese refugee camps in Thailand on 857 children aged 6 to 59 months old. A high chronic malnutrition prevalence of 46% was found by convenience sampling. Utilizing simpler, more cost-effective methods would be more practical in refugee camps. Rapid assessment procedures collect essential information relative to nutritional status in approximately ten minutes per person (Appendix A).
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