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Determinants of Acute Malnutrition among Under-Five Children in Karat Town Public Health Facilities, Southern Ethiopia: A Case Control Study

Background: Acute malnutrition is usually the result of a combination of inadequate dietary intake and infection. It is a third most risk factor for death of under-five children in the world. Acute malnutrition among children under-five years of age is a long last problem in most areas of Ethiopia including the study area, Konso. The aim of this study was to identify determinants of acute malnutrition among under-five children in Karat district hospital and Karat health center, Southern Ethiopia 2015-2016.

Methods: Institutional based case control study was conducted at Karat district general Hospital and Karat Health Center among under-five children who were acute malnourished and well- nourished babies visit in the public health facilities during the study period. Data were collected from February 28 to April 13, 2016 using structured interview for mothers, and anthropometric measurement of children. A sample of 343 with 114 cases and 229 controls with case to control ratio of 1:2, respectively, were taken at the public health facilities.

Findings: Acute malnutrition was associated with: mothers education, maternal marital status (single, widowed or divorced), family size of five and above, joint decision on household consumption, water source for drinking from river, duration of child breast feeding below 12 months, dietary diversity of less than or equal to three food groups and children who had diarrhea illness for the last two weeks prior to data collection.

Conclusion: To reduce childhood acute malnutrition, due emphasis should be given in empowering women and improving the knowledge and practice of parents on appropriate infant and young child caring practices.


Abebaw Miskir, Wanzahun Godana, Meseret Girma, Feleke G/Miskel

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