Risk Factors for Maternal Nutritional Status: Southern Nations, Nationalites and Peoples Region, Ethiopia

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Addis Abeba university


This study focuses on risk factors for maternal under nutrition and utilized data from the large scale Community and Family Survey (CFS) undertaken in the five densely populated zones (Sidama, Gurage, KA T. North-Omo and Hadiya) of Southern Nations & Nationalities Peoples Regioll (SNNPR). The survey was cross sectional by design and conducted between early May and early June 1997. This study is based on 935 lactating and pregnant women aged 15-49 years during the survey. Uni-variate analysis of the data has shown that there exists considerable level of maternal under nutrition. In this study 18.5 % of the women in the region were found out to be moderately and severely under nourished. The problem of under nutrition is higher in rural area (21.0%) than in urban area (6.7%). The level of under nutrition was also higher for women in the age group 15 to 19 years as compared with the remaining age groups. Maternal under nutrition was also found out to be high for women residing in food insecure / inadequate annual income / households, infected by malaria and never used family planning. Data analysis using the logistic regression model has also shown that a number of variables in the bi-variate model were significantly related to maternal under nutrition; while, few of these variables were significant in the multi-variate mode. As a matter of fact the multi-variate model showed the existence of significant variation in the risk of maternal under nutrition by locational (place of residence and zone) variables. The risk of maternal under nutrition in rural area was 1.64 times higher as compared to the urban area and the risk was higher for Hadiya zone as compared with the remaining zones. It was also identified that women from inadequate food stock / annual income/ households, infected by malaria, in the adolescent age group (15 to 19 years) and those who never used family planning were significantly at higher risk of under nutrition. The end results of this study indicated that, integrated efforts by various sectors are required to alleviate the overall maternal under nutrition in the study region. Strong involvement of the health sectors to address the health problem and the agricultural sector to increase agricultural productivity could be a long term solution to the problem. Priority attention should be given to the adolescent reproductive age group. Prevention and early treattnent of malaria infection as well as promotion of family planning services among the adolescent age group, lactating & pregnant women is also crucial.



Nutritional Status