Disclosing the Relationship between Maternal Empowerment and Food Security Status on Stunting, Underweight and Wasting among 6-36 Month Old Children in Gurage Zone, Southern Ethiopia

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Addis Abeba Universty


Background: Globally, malnutrition is one of the most common causes of morbidity and mortality in children under the age of five year. In our nation 51% of all causes of death in children under the age of five year were associated with malnutrition. But, little information is available on whether maternal empowerment and food insecurity are contextual underlying determinants of protein energy malnutrition among 6-36 month old children, especially in the case of gurage zone. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the relationship between household maternal empowerment and food security status on protein energy malnutrition (PEM) among 6-36 month old children Methods: A health facility based unmatched case–control study was conducted from February 20 to April 20, 2015 among 6-36 month old children who visited to Butajira hospital and health center in Butajira town of Gurage zone. A total of 346 (116 children with undernutrition and 232 children free of undernutrition) children were included in the study. Though eligible case participants were selected consecutively, control participants were selected by systematic sampling technique. The data were collected using interviewer administered structured questionnaire with anthropometric measurement instrument. Data were entered into EPI data 3.1 computer program and analyzed using statistical package for social science version 21. Crude and adjusted odds ratios were calculated through simple and binominal multiple logistic regressions model. Result:-A total of 115 cases and 231 controls were included in the analysis. After adjusting for the potential confounders, stunting among children was significantly associated with household maternal disempowermentAOR 6.66 (2.32-19.14), moderateAOR 4.894 (1.66-14.35) and severe food insecurity AOR 9.465 (3.13-28.57). Sever food insecurity AOR 2.880 (1.282-6.469) and maternal disempowermentAOR 2.658 (1.067-6.621) was significantly associated with Underweight. However, from hypothesized variables only sever food insecurity were shown an association with wastingAOR 2.79 (1.09-7.16) Conclusion: Maternal disempowerment and severe food insecurity were independently associated with wasting, stunting and underweight among 6-36 month old children who visited to Butajira Hospital and Health center of Gurage zone. Besides, living in rural residence, having low wealth status and being in age group less than or equal to 24month were found to be factor influencing the nutritional status of children.



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