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Trends of Inequalities in Early Initiation of Breastfeeding in Ethiopia: Evidence from Ethiopian Demographic and Health Surveys, 2000-2016
Authors: Tsegaw Amare 1, Endalkachew Dellie, and Getasew Amare
Source: BioMed Research International, DOI: 10.1155/2022/5533668
Topic(s): Breastfeeding
Country: Africa
Published: FEB 2022
Abstract: Background: Early initiation of breastfeeding (EIBF) is a costless practice with numerous neonates' survival benefits. Thus, any disparity results in an unacceptably high neonatal death rate but socioeconomic disparities on EIBF have not been well explored in Ethiopia. Therefore, this study is aimed at assessing the socioeconomic inequalities of EIBF in Ethiopia from 2000 to 2016. Methods: The Ethiopian demographic and health survey data and the World Health Organization's Health Equity Assessment Toolkit were used to investigate the inequalities in EIBF across the wealth quintile, education, residence, and subnational region. Difference, ratio, slope index inequality (SII), relative index inequality (RII), and population attributable risk (PAR) were used as equity summary measures. Results: In Ethiopia, EIBF practice was 47.4% in 2000, 66.2% in 2005, 51.5% in 2011, and 73.3% in 2016. Wealth-related inequality was observed in the 2000, 2005, and 2011 survey years with SII of -7.1%, -8.8%, and 8.7%, respectively, whereas educational-related inequality was observed in 2005 and 2011 with SII of -11.7% and 6.5%, respectively. However, significant change in wealth-, education-, and residence-related inequalities was detected in 2011. Regional inequality on EIBF was observed in all survey years with a difference of 35.7%, 38.0%, 29.1%, and 48.5% in the 2000, 2005, 2011, and 2016 survey years, respectively. But a significant change in regional inequality was noted in 2016 with a PAR of 17.2%. Conclusions: In Ethiopia, the wealth-, residence-, and educational-related inequalities of EIBF increased significantly between the years 2000 and 2011. However, regional inequality persistently increased from 2000 to 2016. Overall, one-sixth of the national level EIBF was decreased due to regional disparity in 2016. The northern regions of Ethiopia (Tigray, Afar, and Amhara) poorly performed compared to the peer regions. Therefore, interventions targeting them would significantly improve the national level of EIBF.