Objectives: Haiti has one of the highest rates of childhood undernutrition in the world, devastating overall health. This study focuses on the growth of children offered longitudinal healthcare by Kids Health for Haiti, using BMI to indicate developmental and nutritional status. Objectives include collecting baseline prevalence data, examining the longitudinal impact of longitudinal interventions, and discussing future investigation and programming areas.
Methods: A retrospective longitudinal observational chart review on 245 students over a six-year period analyzing height, weight, and BMI. All data was collected as part of routine health provision and underwent statistical analysis using a single-subject design.
Results:46.3%, 42%, and 37.1% of participants started in the lowest percentile groups (0-25th) for weight, height, and BMI, respectively. Among all participants, there was not a significant difference between the proportions of students that increased versus decreased percentile groups for weight (p = 0.39), height (p = 0.782), or BMI (p = 0.064) from first to most recent visit. Among students below the 25th percentile in each growth domain at the first visit, there was a statistically significant increase of at least one percentile group versus a decrease in (p
Conclusion: These results highlight the significant burden of underdevelopment in this population and the potential for improvement with early interventions targeting general health and nutrition. Visits corresponded with improvements in growth, especially for the smallest children. Future investigations should target outcomes of specific treatments, assessing how programming can best improve growth outcomes.
This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
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Geller, Jamarie; Starrs, Mary; Bartholomew, Andrew; Kaliszak, Sara; and Kessenich, Jeri
"The Health of Haitian Schoolchildren: Longitudinal Effect of Annual Visits on Growth,"
Journal of Refugee & Global Health: Vol. 4
, Article 2.
Available at: https://ir.library.louisville.edu/rgh/vol4/iss1/2
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