Back to browse results
Individual and community-level determinants of Iron-Folic Acid Intake for the recommended period among pregnant women in Ethiopia: A multilevel analysis
Authors: Abay Woday Tadesse, Setognal Birara Aychiluhm, and Kusse Urmale Mare
Source: Heliyon, Vol. 7, no. 7
Topic(s): Iron supplements
Maternal health
Country: Africa
Published: JUL 2021
Abstract: Background: Iron-folic acid (IFA) intake for the recommended period during pregnancy reduces the risk of anemia and congenital anomalies. However, IFA intake for the recommended period is still very low in low-income countries including Ethiopia. Thus, the aim of this study was to assess both individual-and community-level determinants of IFA intake for the recommended period among pregnant women in Ethiopia. Methods: Data were retrieved from the Demographic and Health Survey program's official database website ( A two-stage stratified cluster sampling technique was employed to conduct the 2016 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey. A sample of 3088 pregnant women who had received at least one dose of IFA in Ethiopia were included in this study. A multivariable multilevel logistic regression analysis model was fitted to identify the determinants of IFA intake below the recommended period [< 90 days] during pregnancy. Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC) was used during the model selection procedure. Results: This study revealed that 87.6% [95% CI; 86.3%, 88.6%] of the women took IFA below the recommended period during the index pregnancy. After adjusting for the covariates: living in rural areas [AOR = 1.74: 95% CI 1.37, 2.50], and women's illiterate proportion [AOR = 1.43: 95% CI 1.06, 1.70] were community level factors. Whereas, primary education level [AOR = 0.63: 95% CI 0.40, 0.78], poorer wealth index [AOR = 1.53: 95% CI 1.08, 3.09], 4 + antenatal care visits [AOR = 0.43: 95% CI 0.31, 0.69], and receive nutritional counseling during pregnancy [AOR = 0.63: 95% CI 0.37, 0.84] were the individual-level factors of IFA intake below the recommended period during pregnancy. Conclusions: In this study, nearly nine out of ten pregnant women did not take IFA for the recommended period. Thus, promoting recommended ANC visits, enhancing the quality of nutritional counseling, strengthening the expansion of media, and educate rural women towards the importance of optimal intake of IFA during pregnancy. Besides, the policymakers should design essential strategies based on identified barriers to improve the IFA intake for the recommended period.