Table 1

Characteristics of sampled schoolchildren 5–14 years of age, their malnutrition prevalence, and learning capacities

Characteristics in form of categorical and ordinal variablesn(%)
Household’s ownership of land
 Own land for housing or farming8521.6
 Don’t own land for housing or farming30878.4
Household’s ownership of mobile phone
 Own mobile phone27169.0
 Don’t own mobile phone12231.0
Major income source of child’s household
 Daily labour14035.6
 Agriculture and crop sales11830.0
 Selling, trading and commerce4511.5
 Skilled wage labour287.1
 Unskilled wage labour266.6
 Handicraft and small-scale industry256.4
 Livestock and sales of animal51.3
Education attainment of mother or caregiver
 Never gone to school153.8
 Dropped out from primary school18547.1
 Primary school14937.9
 Secondary school379.4
 High school61.5
 University and other higher education10.3
Primary school a child enrolled in
 Ambohimarina primary school256.4
 Ambohitrarahaba primary school10627.0
 Ambohitsoa primary school389.7
 Ambovona primary school92.3
 Ankadinandriana primary school215.3
 Isahafa primary school4511.5
 Ikianja primary school317.9
 Soavinandriamanitra primary school358.9
 Tsarahasina primary school5012.7
 Viliahazo primary school338.4
 First grade18647.3
 Second grade20752.7
Characteristics in form of interval ratio variables Mean SD
Age (month)86.116.1
Household size (person/household)5.41.73
School attendance rate (%)90.514.4
Number of meals on the previous day (meal/day)2.90.16
Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS) (pt)*6.31.33
Malnutrition prevalence n Prevalence (%)
 Stunting13734.9 (95% CI 30.2 to 39.8)
 Underweight†14538.0 (95% CI 33.1 to 43.0)
 Thinness4411.2 (95% CI 8.3 to 14.7)
 Overweight41.0 (95% CI 0.3 to 2.6)
Learning capacities n (%)
 Mathematical proficiency‡
 Level 1: beginner23762.5
 Level 2: simple addition4912.9
 Level 3: simple subtraction8622.7
 Level 4: 2-digit addition/subtraction61.6
 Level 5: multiplication10.3
 National language proficiency§
 Level 1: beginner25968.7
 Level 2: letter5314.1
 Level 3: word4411.7
 Level 4: paragraph174.5
 Level 5: essay41.1
  • *Score calculated based on 12 food groups consumed at a household on the previous day (min 0–max 12).24

  • †n=388. Eleven children older than 120.8 months of age were excluded, as their z-score for weight for age cannot be calculated.19

  • ‡n=379. Fourteen children were excluded, as they were absent from the examinations of mathematics.

  • §n=377. Sixteen children were excluded, as they were absent from the examinations of national language.