Prevalence and Determinants of Child Malnutrition In Gimbi district, Oromia region, Ethiopia Comparative Cross - Sectional study

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Addis Ababa University


Child malnutrition is one of the most serious public health problem in the developing world including Ethiopia. Recent survey in the country show that 38% of children are underweight, 10.5% wasted and 46.5% are stunted. However, underlying variations of these nutritional indicators and determinant factors among regions and localities is poorly understood. The main objective of the study was to assess the prevalence of child malnutrition and identify the various causes and their relative contributions in urban and rural settings. A comparative cross sectional study was conducted in Gimbi district, Oromia region on a total of 490 children (310 from rural and 180 from urban areas) of age 6-59 months in March 2007. A multistage systematic sampling method was employed to collect quantitative data using structured questionnaire and anthropometric measurements. The study variables include; socio-economic and demographic characteristics, child and maternal related variables and environmental health conditions. Data were processed using EPi-info soft ware and exported to SPSS for analysis. NCHS reference population standard of WHO utilized to convert height and weight measurements into Z-scores of the H/A, W/H and W/A indices considering age and sex of the children. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis methods were used to identify determinants of nutritional status and to account for potential confounding factors. The result of the study indicated that 15.9 percent of the children were wasted, 32.4 percent were stunted, and 23.5 percent underweight. Prevalence of severe wasting, stunting and underweight respectively were 5.7%, 15.7%, and 8.0%. No significant variation of child malnutrition by residence was observed. Main determinant factors of wasting were childhood illness indicated by fever, low household income and maternal lack of education. Low birth size of children, paternal lack of education, maternal lack of decision making on use of money and lack of animals were associated with vii chronic malnutrition (stunting). ARI in children, lack of windows of houses and low maternal BMI (<18.5) are most important determinants of under weight. Rural resident children were more exposed to nutritional risk factors than their urban counterparts. This study indicated that acute nutritional problem is highly prevalent in the area and chronic nutritional problem is also of particular concern. It is recommended that prevention and treatment of childhood illness should be enhanced and therapeutic feeding centers be established in short term. More over, women empowerment and efforts to alleviate poverty are crucial if the problem of malnutrition is to be solved in the long run.



Prevalence and Determinants of Child Malnutrition