Prevalence and predictors of stunting and underweight among children under 5 years in Tigray, Ethiopia: Implications for nutrition-sensitive agricultural interventions uri icon

abstract

  • Understanding local drivers of malnutrition can help improve the design of agricultural interventions intended to reduce child stunting and underweight. This study reports the prevalence of child under-5 stunting and underweight from 10 rural districts in the Tigray region of Ethiopia; analyzes factors associated with child undernutrition; and presents implications for designing and selecting indicators for agricultural programs intended to improve nutrition. Overall prevalence of stunting and underweight was 40.0% and 34.6%, respectively. There was significant variation among the districts in the proportion of children classified as stunted and underweight (p > 0.05). Stunting rates ranged from 26.7% to 66.7%, underweight rates ranged from 13.3% to 63.3%. Geographic location (odd ratio [OR] = 1.99; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.81-4.87), no maternal history of eye issues (OR = 1.67; 95% CI, 1.01-2.78), and not owning a mobile phone (OR = 1.5; 95% CI, 0.91-2.49) were factors that increased odds of stunting. Geographic location (OR = 1.17; 95% CI, 0.5-2.76) and no maternal history of eye issues (OR = 1.71; 95% CI, 1.01-2.91) increased odds of underweight. The aggregate data masked influential social and behavioral factors affecting nutrition within certain districts and subgroups. Nutrition-specific approaches that target women and children and nutrition-sensitive approaches that strengthen local sources of resilience are needed to accelerate progress toward improved nutrition and reduce health disparities.

publication date

  • 2018
  • 2018