Nearly half of preschool children are stunted in Dembia district, Northwest Ethiopia: A community based cross-sectional study

Amare Tariku, Haile Woldie, Abel Fekadu, Akilew Awoke Adane, Ayanaw Tsega Ferede, Segenet Yitayew

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    Background: Stunting has been the most pressing public health problem throughout the developing countries. It is the major causes of child mortality and global disease burden, where 80 % of this burden is found in developing countries. In the future, stunting alone would result in 22 % of loss in adult income. About 40 % of children under five-years were stunted in Ethiopia. In the country, about 28 % of child mortality is related to undernutrition. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and determinants of stunting among preschool children in Dembia district, Northwest Ethiopia. 

    Methods: A community based cross-sectional study was carried out in Dembia district, Northwest Ethiopia from January 01 to February 29, 2015. A multi-stage sampling followed by a systematic sampling technique was employed to reach 681 mother-child pairs. A pretested and structured questionnaire was used to collect data. After exporting anthropometric data to ENA/SMART software version 2012, nutritional status (stunting) of a child was determined using the WHO Multicenter Growth Reference Standard. In binary logistic regression, a multivariable analysis was carried out to identify determinants of stunting. The Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) with a 95 % confidence interval was computed to assess the strength of the association, and variables with a P-value of <0.05 in multivariable analysis were considered as statistically significant. 

    Results: A total 681 of mother-child pairs were included in the study. The overall prevalence of stunting was 46 % [95 % CI: 38.7, 53.3 %]. In multivariable analysis, the odds of stunting was higher among children whose families had no latrine [AOR = 1.6, 95 % CI: 1.1, 2.2)]. Likewise, children living in household with more than four family size [AOR =1.4, 95 % CI: 1.1, 1.9)] were more likely to be stunted. 

    Conclusions: This study confirms that stunting is a very high public health problem in Dembia district. The family size and latrine availability were significantly associated with stunting. Hence, emphasis should be given to improve the latrine coverage and utilization of family planning in the district.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number13
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalArchives of Public Health
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2016


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