Nutritional status of children has been associated with disease conditions leading to morbidity and mortality. This hospital bases study assessed the relationship between nutritional status and malaria among under-five children in Owerri municipality South Eastern Nigeria. Nutritional status, Malaria status, Haemoglobin level, Serum Iron and Temperature were respectively measured by Z-score, Rapid Diagnostic Test, Hemocue Hb201+ analyzer, enzyme immunoassay and digital thermometer. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. A total of 200 under five children were involved in the study of which 37% were positive for malaria, 37% were anemic, 38% had iron deficiency, 44% were febrile and 49.5% were hospitalized due to malaria. There was significant association between nutritional status and malaria (χ2=9.254, p=0.002), nutritional status and anemia (χ2=5.552, p= 0.020) as well as nutritional status and hospitalization due to malaria (χ2= 11.691, p=0.001). Malnourishment is associated with malaria risk among the under five children. Reductions in malaria parasitaemia and anemia rates may require improving children's nutritional status. This will reflect on reducing malaria morbidity, progression to severe disease and possible death.
Keywords: Under Five Children, Nutritional Status, Malaria Risk