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Determinant of Severe Acute Malnutrition among Children Aged 6-59 Months in Konso, Southern Ethiopia: Case Control Study

Background: Severe acute malnutrition is an underlying cause for the deaths of more than 3.5 million children under the age of 5 each year worldwide. Interaction of sociodemographic, nutritional, and child health related factors influences on occurrence of malnutrition is not investigated in the current study area. Therefore this study is under taken to fill this gap in Konso district Southern Ethiopia.

Objective: To determine the determinant factors associated with malnutrition among children aged six month to fifty nine months in Konso and to provide information useful to better control this chronic problem.

Methods: Case-control study was conducted on 300 malnourished children (cases) and 531 children who were not malnourished (controls). Data was collected by using pretested and structured questionnaires. Data was entered in to EPI INFO version 7 and exported to SPSS version 20 for further analysis. Frequency and cross tabulation was conducted to describe relevant variables in relation to the outcome variables; multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted to identify significant predictors based on p-value less than 0.05 with 95% confidence level.

Results: A total of 831 participants (300 with severe acute malnutrition and 531 no malnutrition for each) were enrolled in the study. The identified determinant factors for severe acute malnutrition was maternal literacy (AOR 0.14, 95% CI=0.03, 0.49), large family size (AOR 1.43, 95% CI 1.12, 1.82), pregnancy, short birth interval, increased age of child (AOR 1.23, 95% CI, 1.02, 1.48), and frequency of complementary diet feeding (AOR 0.67, 95% CI: 0.53, 0.85) were significant factors in multivariate logistic analysis.

Conclusion and recommendation: Socioeconomic and demographic variables have a significant influence on the odds of malnutrition in children. Continuous BCC and ACC Health education program should be strengthened and the program should focus on nutritional and child care practices to prevent and control childhood malnutrition. Special attention should be given for illiterate, large family size, low birth interval and for higher child age mothers during community based nutrition intervention.


Alemayehu Eshetu, Eskezyiaw Agedew, Amare Worku, Binyam bogale

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