Vitamin D Levels in Malnourished Children under 5 Years in a Tertiary Care Center at Muhimbili National Hospital, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania—A Cross-sectional Study

Document Type



Faculty of Health Sciences, East Africa


Objective: To evaluate vitamin D levels/deficiency among malnourished children <5 years admitted at a tertiary care center, the Muhimbili National Hospital, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Children with malnutrition may have co-existing vitamin D deficiency (VDD), which may be severe.

Methods: Serum vitamin D and alkaline phosphatase were evaluated, and X-ray of the wrist was carried out on 134 children.

Results: VDD was found in 41 of 134 children (30.6%). The mean vitamin D level was 74.8 nmol/l. The mean alkaline phosphatase level was 176.6 U/l. Sixty-four (48%) children were found to have severe stunting, of whom 20 (31.2%) were vitamin D deficient. Marasmic children had higher odds of VDD compared with other forms of malnutrition.

Conclusion: The high prevalence of VDD in malnourished children underlines the need for active surveillance and aggressive management.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.


Journal of Tropical Pediatrics