Pakistan has one of the highest burden of measles and measles-related deaths in the world. We compared the clinical course and outcomes of measles in infants aged <9 months with those >9 month old amongst children admitted to a tertiary care hospital. Data were collected by a retrospective chart review, and compared between age <9 months (Group A) and age >9 months (Group B). Severe malnutrition (P=0.039, adjusted odds ratio=3.02), anemia (P=0.017), leukocytosis (P<0.001, adjusted odds ratio 4.1), and conjunctivitis (P=0.021) were higher in Group A children. All four deaths occurred in Group B.
The incidence of rotavirus-associated severe diarrhoea and distribution of rotavirus genotypes in children less than five years of age was determined in two low-income communities in Karachi, Pakistan. Over a two-year period, 717 children met eligibility criteria for severe diarrhoea and stools were obtained from 575 (80%) with 97 (17%) being rotavirus positive. Adjusted annual rates of severe rotavirus diarrhoea in children less than five years and less than one year were respectively 5.7 and 16.9 per 1000 in community A, and 8.1 and 25.4 per 1000 child years of observation in community B. An estimated 1 in 40 infants experience a severe episode of rotavirus gastroenteritis annually in Pakistan. The most common rotavirus strains were G9P (15%), G1P (13%) and G1[P4] (8.4%). This information will inform policy decisions about the introduction of rotavirus vaccines.
BACKGROUND: Obesity is an emerging problem in Pakistan. The authors sought to determine prevalence of obesity and malnutrition in school-going children, from grades 6(th) to 8(th) of different schools of Karachi and assess associations that affect the weight of the children. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A cross sectional study design with children studying in grades 6(th) to 8(th) grade, in different schools of Karachi. We visited 10 schools of which 4 consented; two subsidized government schools and two private schools. A questionnaire was developed in consultation with a qualified nutritionist. Height and weight were measured on calibrated scales. A modified BMI criterion for Asian populations was used. Data was collected from 284 students. Of our sample, 52% were found to be underweight whereas 34% of all the children were normal. Of the population, 6% was obese and 8% overweight. Of all obese children, 70% belonged to the higher socio-economic status (SES) group, while of the underweight children, 63.3% were in the lower SES. Amongst obese children in our study, 65% ate meat every day, compared to 33% of normal kids. CONCLUSION: Obesity and undernutrition co-exist in Pakistani school-children. Our study shows that socio-economic factors are important since obesity and overweight increase with SES. Higher SES groups should be targeted for overweight while underweight is a problem of lower SES. Meat intake and lack of physical activity are some of the other factors that have been highlighted in our study.