A socio-demographic profile, growth, nutritional and hygiene status of children of primary and secondary boarding schools of Gandhinagar district: a cross sectional study

Nilesh C. Thakor, Dipak Prajapati, Jyotsna Pandor, Samir Bhagora


Background: A school is a key location for educating children about health, hygiene and nutrition, and for putting in place interventions to promote the health of children. Objectives: of current study were 1) To study the socio demographic profile of children of boarding schools. 2) To study the growth, nutritional and hygiene status of children of boarding schools.

Methods: The study was a cross sectional study. After taking the permission of principal of resident schools and consent of the parents of children, 867 children from 8 boarding schools were interviewed during February-March 2011. A self-administered questionnaire was used for data collection.

Results: Age of the study children (total 867) ranged from 5-19 years. (Mean age = 13.80 ± 1.96 years). Out of 867, 434 (49.9%) were boys and 433 (50.1%) were girls. 32.6% belonged to socio economic class IV. There were only 122 (14.1%) children who had been in boarding school since 4 and more than 4 years. Good personal hygiene was observed in only 75 (8.7%) children followed by fair personal hygiene in 292 (33.7%) children and poor personal hygiene in 500 (57.7%) children. 220 (50.8%) female children had fair personal hygiene and 343 (79.0%) male children had poor personal hygiene and this difference was statistically significant. Prevalence of malnutrition in this study was 7.2% (Females = 4.2%; Males = 10.1%; P <0.001).The bulk of the malnutrition cases were constituted by the grade-I P.E.M. cases (66.1%) followed by grade-II P.E.M. cases (25.8%) and there were 5 (8.1%) cases of grade-III malnutrition only in female children.

Conclusion:Poor personal hygiene, poor nutritional status among these children needs great attention and health education.



Boarding school, Growth, Nutritional status, Hygiene status, Residential school children

Full Text:



Baru Rama. Introduction. In: Baru Rama, eds. School Health Services in India. 1st ed. New Delhi: Sage Publications; 2008: 6-7.

K. Raghva Prasad. School health. Indian J Community Med. 2005 Oct-Dec;30(4):109-10.

Uttara Manohar. Boarding school: effect on children, 2011. Available at: http://www.bubzzle.com. Accessed 28 June 2011.

Srinivasan K, Prabhu GR. A study of the morbidity status of children in social welfare hostels in Tirupati town. Indian J Community Med. 2006-2007;31(3):51-6.

Panda P, Benjamin AI, Shavinder Singh, Zacharia P. Health status of school children in Ludhiana city. Indian J Community Med. 2000 Oct- Dec;4:150-5.

Osei A, Houser R, Bulusu S, Joshi T, Hamer D. Nutritional status of primary school children in Garhwali Himalayan villages of India. Food Nutr Bull. 2010 Jun;31(2):221-33.

Soumya Deb, Sinjita Dutta. Relationship of personal hygiene with nutrition and morbidity profile: a study among primary school children in South Kolkata. Indian J Community Med. 2010 Apr;35(2):282-4.