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Undernutrition and associated factors among children aged 6–59 months living in slum areas of Gondar city, northwest Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study

Authors Gelu A, Edris M, Derso T, Abebe Z

Received 26 April 2018

Accepted for publication 19 June 2018

Published 28 August 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 81—88

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PHMT.S172317

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roosy Aulakh


Atanaw Gelu,1 Melkie Edris,2 Terefe Derso,2 Zegeye Abebe2

1Comprehensive Specialized Hospital, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia; 2Department of Human Nutrition, Institute of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia

Background: Many people, especially in developing countries such as Ethiopia, are migrating to cities. The majority of these people have settled in slum areas, which often have poor sanitation and housing conditions. Therefore, this study was conducted to gather evidence on nutritional status and associated factors among children aged 6–59 months living in slum areas of Gondar city, northwest Ethiopia.
Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was carried out from 3 to 28 May 2017. A total of 593 children from the slum areas aged 6–59 months were included in the study. Bivariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were carried out to identify the independent determinants of stunting and wasting.
Results: The overall prevalences of stunting and wasting were 42.3% (95% CI 38.34, 46.3%) and 7.3% (95% CI 5.3, 9.4%), respectively. Poor wealth status (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] =1.79; 95% CI 1.19, 2.70) and age of child 24–35 months (AOR=2.56; 95% CI 1.32, 4.96), 36–47 months (AOR=2.27; 95% CI 1.14, 4.54) and 48–59 months (AOR=2.69; 95% CI 1.35, 5.32) were independently associated with stunting. Similarly, presence of a fever in the previous 2 weeks (AOR=2.29; 95% CI 1.20, 4.38) and paternal control over resources (AOR=3.66; 95% CI 1.12, 11.04) were associated with wasting. Children of uneducated mothers (AOR=3.30; 95% CI 1.29, 8.46) were also more likely to be wasted.
Conclusion: This study illustrates that undernutrition is prevalent in the slum areas of Gondar city and is a critical public health problem. Therefore, attention should be targeted at economically disadvantaged children living in slum areas. In addition, there is a need to improve medical awareness of families with young children in these areas and increase the health-seeking behavior of these families, primarily by focusing on maternal education. Increasing women’s decision-making autonomy over household resources is also recommended to address the problem.

Keywords: stunting, wasting, undernutrition, slum area, Ethiopia

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