Predictors of Nutritional Status of Children Visiting Health Facilities in Jimma Zone, South West Ethiopia

Type Journal Article - International Journal of Advanced Nursing Science and Practice
Title Predictors of Nutritional Status of Children Visiting Health Facilities in Jimma Zone, South West Ethiopia
Volume 1
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
Malnutrition is a major public health problem in the developing countries. It contributes to child morbidity and mortality, poor intellectual and physical development of children, and lowered resistance to diseases. The overall objective of the study was to determine prevalence and predictors of nutritional status of children age 6 to 36 months visiting health facilities in the study area. A crosssectional descriptive study to determine nutritional status of children visiting health facilities in Jimma Zone was conducted from March (15th – 30th) 2010. The study was conducted in six randomly selected teaching health facilities (Jimma, Agaro, Asendabo, Yebu, Serbo health centers) and Limu district hospital within 5-50 km radius from Jimma University. All children aged 6-36 months and their mothers/care givers visited the above mentioned health facilities during the study period were included in the study. Out of 322 sampled mothers/care givers with children age between 6 to 36 months, 313 responded to the questionnaire making the response rate 97.2%. The mean age of mothers was 26 years with standard deviation + 5.27 while the mean age of children found to be 17 months with standard deviation + 8.75. Concerning nutritional status of children the analysis showed that 14.4% were underweight 33.9% were stunted and 19.2% were wasted. With regard to factors determining nutritional status of children breast feeding, increasing age of child, increasing age of mothers, large family size and sex of child found to be important predictors of the nutritional status of children (p <0.05). Despite the fact that the method of sampling used in this study has its own limitation, the prevalence of wasting in this study is slightly higher according to the classification established by the WHO to indicate the level of child malnutrition. Therefore, use of proper feeding method and supplementation of breast milk at appropriate age according to child feeding recommendation and family centered care should be encouraged for young children.

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