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Socioeconomic inequality in stunting among under-5 children in Ethiopia: a decomposition analysis
Authors: Shimels Hussien Mohammed, Fatima Muhammad, Reza Pakzad, and Shahab Alizadeh
Source: BMC Research Notes , 12: 184; DOI: 10.1186/s13104-019-4229-9
Topic(s): Child health
Children under five
Country: Africa
Published: DEC 2019
Abstract: Objective Ethiopia bears a high stunting burden. However, there is a paucity of evidence on the socioeconomic inequalities of stunting in Ethiopia. Thus, this study was aimed to determine the degree of socioeconomic inequality in stunting and decompose it to the social determinants of stunting. We used a nationally representative sample of 8855 children, aged below 5 years, from the Ethiopian demographic and health survey, conducted in 2016. Subjects were recruited following a two-stage cluster sampling. The socioeconomic status was measured by the household wealth index, categorized into quantiles. The inequality in stunting between the poorest and the richest socioeconomic groups was decomposed into its contributing social factors following the Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition approach. Result The overall prevalence of stunting was 38%, with a significant pro-poor socioeconomic inequality. The prevalence of stunting among the poorest and the richest socioeconomic categories was 45.1% and 26.9%, respectively. Caregivers education status was the main contributor, accounting alone for 33% of the socioeconomic inequality in stunting, followed by region of residence (11%) and birth size (6%). Equity sensitive interventions, which prioritize the vulnerable groups might help to narrow the socioeconomic inequality as well as fasten the progress towards the goal of stunting reduction.