Prevalence and determinants of stunting and wasting among public primary school children in Gondar town, northwest, Ethiopia.BMC Pediatr. 2019 Jun 25; 19(1):207.BPed
Undernutrition among school age children has an impact on their health, cognition, and educational achievement. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the prevalence and associated factors of stunting and wasting among school age children in Gondar town, northwest, Ethiopia.
An institution-based cross-sectional study was done among school children aged 6-14 years. Data on socio-demographic, nutritional and dietary status of children were collected using structured questionnaire. Anthropometric measurements were carried out to determine the status of stunting and wasting. Data were entered into Epi-Info version 3.5.3 and transferred to SPSS version 20 for further analysis. Bivariable and multivariable logistic regression models were fitted to identify associated factors of stunting and wasting. Both crude odds and adjusted odds ratios with 95% CI were used to measure the strength of associations. In the multivariable analysis, variables with < 0.05 p-values were considered statistically significant.
A total of 523 school age children were with the median age of 12 (10-13 inter quartile range) years participated in the study. The overall prevalence of stunting and wasting among primary school children was 241(46.1%; 95% CI: 42.3, 50.3) and 47 (9%; 95% CI: 6.7, 11.7), respectively. Child age (AOR = 1.9, 95% CI: 1.29, 2.80), public tab/yard water source (AOR = 2.22; 95%CI: 1.46, 3.39), DDS < 4 (AOR = 1.89 95%CI: 1.08, 3.30), tea drinking habit (AOR = 0.46, 95%CI: 0.27, 0.80) and anemia (AOR = 1.72 95%CI: 1.05, 2.83) were significant predictors of stunting. Moreover, child age (AOR = 3.91; 95% CI: 1.62, 9.44), maternal/care-givers' age ≤ 34 (AOR = 0.34; 95%CI: 0.16, 0.71), maternal education (AOR = 2.55; 95%CI: 1.15, 5.65), family poverty (AOR = 3.23; 95% CI: 1.30, 7.93) and alcohol consumption (AOR = 2.93; 95%CI: 1.16, 7.42) were found significantly associated with wasting.
Stunting and wasting were then major problems among school age children. Child age, water source for dinking, DDS < 4 and anemia resulted in stunting. On the other hand, child age, maternal education and age, family poverty and alcohol drinking were risk factors for wasting. Therefore, launching community based nutritional education programs, implementing school feeding and strengthening economic level of the communities are essential to reduce the problems.