This rapid assessment was conducted in December, 2008 to ascertain the levels of malnutrition in Lusaka urban. It was a cross-sectional descriptive survey that was aimed at establishing factors that have led to an increase in under five year old malnutrition admission rates at the University Teaching Hospital.

The study was undertaken following reports that during the period of August-October, 2008, the case load of severe malnutrition admissions to the University Teaching Hospital (Ward A07) had gone beyond seasonal trend with an average of 15 admissions daily making. This situation had resulted in overcrowding of the ward leading to children sharing beds (cots); on average 2-3 children shared a cot. In addition, the mortality rates among these admitted children were reported to be as high as 40-50 percent.  

A desk assessment into this situation revealed that the majority of the admitted children were referred from Kamwala, Kanyama, Matero Reference, and Chawama Health Centres. Based on this, the National Food and Nutrition Commission and partners conducted this rapid assessment to ascertain the nutrition situation in these source areas of Lusaka urban as well as the factors that had led to this high increase in admissions.

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