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Determinants of Child Malnutrition among Agro Pastorals in Northeastern Ethiopia: A Cross-Sectional Study

Misgan Legesse Liben, Taye Abuhay, Yohannes Haile

Introduction: Under nutrition continues to be a major public health problem in developing countries, including Ethiopia. Globally it is associated with more than half of all child mortality. This study aimed to investigate the magnitude of under nutrition and associated factors among children aged 6–59 months in the Afambo district of Northeast Ethiopia.

Methods: A community-based cross sectional study was employed in Afambo district on 401 mother-child pairs. Anthropometric measurements were collected from children aged 6–59 months. Binary and multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to identify the factors associated with child under nutrition. Variables with a p-value < 0.05 were identified as statistically significant factors.

Results: In the Afambo district, 32.2%, 23.5% and 13.8% of the study children were stunted, underweight and wasted, respectively. The multivariable logistic regression model showed that being male (AOR: 1.88; 95% CI (1.01, 3.49)), not attending antenatal care visit [AOR: 3.87; 95% CI (1.87, 7.99)], severe [AOR: 6.49; 95% CI (1.62, 26.01)] and moderate household hanger scale [AOR: 2.88; 95% CI (1.27, 6.51)] were positive predictors of stunting. Colostrum avoidance [AOR: 2.34; 95% CI (1.19, 4.61)], household hanger scale [severe hunger (AOR: 3.68; 95% CI (1.13, 12.00)), moderate hanger AOR: (AOR: 3.47; 95% CI (1.65, 7.29))] and not attending ANC [AOR = 9.14 (95% CI: 4.35-19.23)] were associated with increased odds of underweight. Finally, not attending ANC [AOR: 2.87; 95% CI (1.18, 6.96)], diarrhea in the last two weeks preceding the survey [AOR: 3.48; 95% CI (1.66, 7.30)], motherheaded households [AOR: 0.37; 95% CI (0.15, 0.92)] and bottle feeding [AOR: 2.95; 95% CI (1.46, 5.97)] were predictors of wasting.

Conclusion: The prevalence of under nutrition in Afambo district is high based on WHO classification. Hence, adequate attention should be given to raise the awareness of the community regarding the value of colostrum feeding and the hazards of bottle feeding. It is also important to share and act on information about advantages of antenatal care visit and diarrhea management in the study area.