Relationship between malaria and malnutrition among under-five children in Adami Tulu district, south-central Ethiopia: a case- control study

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Addis Abeba Universty


Background Malaria and malnutrition are the major causes of morbidity and mortality in under-five children in developing countries including Ethiopia. Malnutrition is an underplaying cause in about half of all deaths occurring among children in developing countries. However, the relationship between malnutrition and malaria is still controversial. This relationship has not been well documented in Ethiopia. Objective: The aim of this study was to assess whether malnutrition is associated with malaria among under-five children in Adami Tulu district, South-central Ethiopia. Methods A case-control study was conducted in Adami Tulu District, south-central Ethiopia. Cases were all under-five children diagnosed with confirmed malaria, in selected health facilities, during the data collection period. Controls were apparently healthy under-five children recruited from the community where cases reside. Mothers/caretakers of under-five children were interviewed using pre-tested structured questionnaire prepared for this purpose. Nutritional status of children was assessed by anthropometric method and analyzed using WHO Anthro. Data were entered using EPi Info version 3.5.4 and exported to SPSS version 21 for cleaning and analysis. Bivariate and multivariate analysis methods were used. Results: Four hundred twenty eight under-five children comprising of 107 cases and 321 controls were included in this study. The mean age was 28 (SD±14) months for cases and 33 (SD±16) months for controls. Prevalence of stunting was 50.5% in cases and 45.2% in controls. Prevalence of underweight was 24.3 % in cases and 18% in controls. Prevalence of wasting was 17.8 % in cases and 9.3% in controls. Severe wasting (adjusted OR=2.951, 95% CI: 1.145, 7.605), mid-upper arm circumference between -2 and -3 SD (adjusted OR =3.019, 95% CI: 1.457, 6.253) and caretakers who had no education (adjusted OR=2.999, 95% CI: 1.266, 7.102) were independently associated with malarial attack in under-five children. Conclusion: Those under-five children, who were severely wasted, had MUAC between -2 and - 3 SD and with uneducated caretakers had higher odds of malarial attack. Therefore, Malaria control programmes should consider integrating nutritional interventions.



Relationship between malaria and malnutrition among under-five children