Prevalence of child underweight, maternal malnutrition and pregnancy weight gain of urban poor of Dhaka and Chittagong, Bangladesh: an analysis of growth monitoring and promotion cards

Md. Ruhul Amin, Asfia Azim, Mahfuzul Haque, Masum Ali


Child and maternal malnutrition is a major public health problem in Bangladesh. The study assessed children and
pregnant women malnutrition, and pregnancy weight gain in urban poor areas of Dhaka and Chittagong City,
Bangladesh. This longitudinal study analyzed data of children <2 years and pregnant women using growth monitoring
and promotion (GMP) cards. A total of 4223 GMP cards of urban static and satellite clinics were included in this study.
The study found that the prevalence of low birth weight (LBW) was about 15% and that underweight was about 25%;
male children were significantly more underweight than the female children. Underweight was high among children
aged 18-23 months followed by <6 months. More than one third of the pregnant women (36.4%) suffered from
malnutrition (BMI<18.5) at their first trimester. Overall, 23% of the pregnant women were malnourished based on mid
upper arm circumference (MUAC) <21.5 cm, irrespective of their pregnancy status. Median pregnancy weight gain was
7.0 kg. Almost two-third of the pregnant women (63.6%) failed to gain desired weight (>4 kg) during the third
trimester. Overall, 35.4% of pregnant women conducted 3 or more antenatal care visits throughout her pregnancy
period. Prevalence of child and maternal malnutrition was significantly high in urban poor areas of Dhaka than those in
Chittagong areas. Lack of continued participation in GMP program is a great challenge. Nutrition intervention
programs should be intensified in the urban poor areas to address maternal and child nutrition problems.


Urban poor, GMP, LBW, Underweight, Pregnancy weight gain

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