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Poor Nutrition for Under-Five Children from Poor Households in Ethiopia: Evidence from 2016 Demographic and Health Survey
Authors: Habtamu Kebebe Kasaye, Firew Tekle Bobo, Mekdes Tigistu Yilma, and Mirkuzie Woldie
Source: PLoS ONE , 14(12): e0225996; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0225996
Topic(s): Child health
Children under five
Country: Africa
Published: DEC 2019
Abstract: Background: Ethiopia is commonly affected by drought and famine, and this has taken quite a toll on citizens of the country, particularly the under-five children. Undernutrition among under-five children in Ethiopia is a prominent public health concern, and it lacked attention for decades. However, the government of Ethiopia, together with other stakeholders, committed to overcoming the impact of malnutrition through the transformational plan. Here we show the magnitude of undernutrition among under-five children and the factors predicting the achievement of global nutrition targets set for 2025 at the World Health Assembly. Methods: Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) 2016 was used for this study. A total of 9494 child-mother pairs were included in this analysis. The nutritional status indicators (Height-for-age, Weight-for-height and Weight-for-age) of children were measured and categorized based on the World Health Organization child growth standards. A multilevel logistic regression model adjusted for clusters and sampling weights were used to identify factors associated with stunting, underweight, and wasting. The independent variables were assessed by calculating the odds ratios with 95% confidence interval (CI). Result: The prevalence of stunting was 38.3% (95% CI: 36.4% to 40.2%), under-weight 23.3% (95%CI: 21.9% to 24.9%) and wasting 10.1% (95%, CI: 9.1% to 11.2%). Sex of the child (male), children older than 24 months, recent experience of diarrhea, household wealth index (poorest), and administrative regions (Tigray, Amhara and developing regions) had a higher risk of undernutrition. On the other hand, children born from overweight mothers and educated mother (primary, secondary or higher) had a lower risk of undernutrition. Conclusion: The burden of undernutrition is still considerably high in Ethiopia. Implimentation of strategies and policies that focus on improving the socioeconomic educatiional status of the community need to be sustained. Generally, actions targeted on factors contributing to undernutrition among under-five children demands immediate attention to achieve national and global nutrition target.