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Determinants of under-five malnutrition, significant changes, and policy implications in the Ethiopian Demographic Health Survey, 2019
Authors: Habtamu Wondimu and Kassahun Dejene
Source: Discover Sustainability, Volume 3, issue 16; DOI:
Topic(s): Child feeding
Child health
Country: Africa
Published: MAY 2022
Abstract: This study, which used data from the 2019 mini DHS, was to look at the determinants of under-five malnutrition, policy implications, and significant changes in the Ethiopian demographic survey between 2016 and 2019 concerning its determinant factors. This data is the fifth and latest demographic and health survey in Ethiopia, conducted from March 21, 2019, to June 28, 2019. The EDHS 2019 interviewed 9012 women, but only 8885 completed the questionnaire. This EDHS provides a detailed examination of Ethiopia’s overall population, child health, and maternal issues using a cross-sectional study design. The results showed that 24–35 (AOR?=?4.11, 95% CI [2.13, 7.94]) and 12–17-month-old children faced severe stunting more than three times as often compared to children who were less than eleven months old (AOR?=?3.11, 95% CI [1.13, 7.94]). The problem of child wasting was also highly severe in Ethiopian-Somalia and Gambela, with 32% in both. Children in these regions were two or three times more vulnerable to wasting compared to the other areas (AOR?=?3.42, 95% CI [0.42–0.55]) and (AOR?=?2.99, 95% CI [0.75–1.57]). This study found that stunting prevalence increased by 22% among children aged 6–8 months and by 44% among children aged 48–59 months. Nonetheless, the highest rate (45%) of stunting, wasting, and underweight was observed in children aged 24–35 months, and it was significantly higher in males (40%) than in females (33%). Comparatively, the Ethiopian Demographic Health Survey of 2019 showed a slight reduction in the problems of stunting, wasting, and underweight issues among children under five, at 37%. Still, based on the findings, the authors recommend that multi-factor treatments be used to address the nutritional condition of children. By providing essential services, policy measures that reduce the impact of undernutrition may be implemented to increase access to health care. Moreover, this study recommends the federal government pay attention to children’s well-being above 24 months, and it might be resolved through the Agricultural Development Led Industrialization (ADLI) strategy and related food security initiatives.