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Individual and community-level factors associated with iron-rich food consumption among children aged 6–23 months in Rwanda: A multilevel analysis of Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey
Authors: Habitu Birhan Eshetu ,Mengistie Diress,Daniel Gashaneh Belay,Mohammed Abdu Seid,Dagmawi Chilot,Deresse Sinamaw,Wudneh Simegn,Abiyu Abadi Tareke,Abdulwase Mohammed Seid,Amare Agmas Andualem,Desalegn Anmut Bitew,Yibeltal Yismaw Gela, and Anteneh Ayelign Kibret
Source: PLOS ONE , Volume 18, issue 1; DOI:
Topic(s): Children under five
Iron supplements
Country: Africa
Published: JAN 2023
Abstract: Background: Iron-rich food consumption has an invaluable effect for neonatal and fetal brain development as well as metabolic activities. Despite the public health importance of the consumption of iron-rich foods, there was no study, that assessed iron-rich food consumption in Rwanda. Therefore this study aimed to assess iron-rich food consumption and associated factors among children aged 6–23 months using Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey (RDHS). Methods: Secondary data analysis was done using RDHS-2019/20. Total weighted samples of 2455 children aged 6–23 months were included. Data coding, cleaning, and analysis were performed using Stata 16. Multilevel binary logistic regression were performed to identify factors associated with iron-rich food consumption. Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) with a 95% CI, and p-value <0.05 were used to declare statistical significance. Results: The prevalence of good iron-rich food consumption was 23.56%(95% CI: 21.92,25.28). Northern province of Rwanda (AOR? = ?0.26,95%CI: 0.15,0.46), mothers secondary education and above (AOR: 2.37, 95% CI: 1.41, 4.01), married mothers (AOR:1.31, 95% CI: 1.01,1.71), rich wealth status (AOR = 2.06, 95% CI: 1.48, 2.86), having post-natal visit (AOR = 1.45, 95% CI: 1.10,1.91), mothers media exposure (AOR: 1.75, 95% CI: 1.22, 2.52) and drugs given for intestinal parasite (AOR = 1.37, 95% CI: 1.04, 1.80) were associated with iron-rich food consumption. Conclusions: This study shows that overall iron-rich foods consumption was low in Rwanda. The residing in the North province, mother’s secondary and higher educational status, married marital status, rich and middle wealth status, having media exposure, drugs given for intestinal parasites, and having child’s post-natal checkup were variables significantly associated with iron-rich food consumption. The region-based intervention will improve the consumption of iron-rich food. In addition, health policies and programs should target educating mothers/caregivers, encouraging parents to live together, improving their wealth status, working on mass media access by the women, and encouraging mothers post-natal checkups to improve iron-rich food consumption.