Priyanka Jayawardena


Despite overall health indicators are on track to achieve the 2015MDGs, malnutrition continues to be a serious health concern in Sri Lanka. Prevalence of child and maternal malnutrition is almost doubled in the estate sector compared to country average. Thus, this study attempts to contribute to policies on priority areas needing to be addressed in breaking the vicious cycle of malnutrition in the estate sector. The study used Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) 2006/07 of Sri Lanka as the primary source of data. The research adopted probit analysis in order to identify the determinants of child and maternal malnutrition in the estate sector. According to the findings, major aspects of estate sector child and maternal malnutrition was due to many inter-related factors, ranging from life cycle of malnutrition, food insecurity, alcoholism, poor socio-economic conditions and also lack of women’s education and knowledge. It was evident that, a significant reason for child and maternal malnutrition in the estate sector was intake of the ‘wrong’ kind of food—consuming lack of protein rich food. Further, estate sector alcoholism significantly increased the prevalence of malnourished women. These factors coupled with the household poor socio-economic status perpetuates the vicious cycle of malnutrition in the estate sector.


Child health, Estate sector, Malnutrition, Maternal health, Sri Lanka.

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Journal of South Asian Studies
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