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NUTRITIONAL STATUS AND MAJOR DETERMINANTS OF MALNUTRITION IN CHILDERN UNDER FIVE YEARS OF AGE IN HORO DISTRICT, HORO GUDURU WOLLEGA ZONE OF OROMIA REGIONAL STATE, ETHIOPIA
Temesgen Negassa*, Prof. Fikadu Beyene and Habtamu Fikadu
Child malnutrition is one of the most serious public health problems in the developing world including Ethiopia. Recent survey in the country show that 38% of children are underweight, 10.5% wasted and 46.5% are stunted. However, underlying variations of these nutritional indicators and major determinants among regions and localities is poorly understood. The main objective of the study was to investigate the nutritional status and major determinants of child malnutrition under five age and identify the various causes and their relative contributions in urban and rural settings. A comparative cross sectional study was conducted in Horo district, Oromia region on a total of 493 children (321 from rural and 172 from urban areas) under five years of age. A multistage systematic sampling method was employed to collect quantitative data using structured questionnaire and anthropometric measurements. The study variables include; socio-economic and demographic characteristics, child and maternal related variables, feeding practice. Data were processed using SPSS for analysis. NCHS reference population standard of WHO utilized to convert height and weight measurements into Z-scores of the H/A, W/H and W/A indices considering age and sex of the children. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis methods were used to identify major determinants of malnourished children under five years and nutritional status to account for potential confounding factors. The result of the study indicated that 31.2 % of the children were stunted, 16.6% were wasted, and 21.4%t underweight. Nutritional status of severe stunting, wasting and underweight respectively were 15.4%, 6.99%, and 8.23%. No significant variation of child malnutrition by residence was observed. Main determinant factors of wasting were childhood illness indicated by fever, low household income and maternal lack of education, Low birth size of children, paternal lack of education, large family size on use of money and lack of animals were associated with chronic malnutrition (stunting). ARI in children, deficiency of windows of houses and low maternal BMI (<18.5) are most important determinants of underweight. Rural resident children were more exposed to nutritional risk factors than their urban counterparts. This study indicated that acute nutritional (wasting) problem is highly prevalent in the area and stunting problem is also of particular concern. It is recommended that prevention and treatment of children illness should be enhanced and feeding practice centers be established in short term. Moreover, women empowerment and efforts to alleviate poverty are crucial if the problem of malnutrition is to be solved in the long run gap of research.[Full Text Article]