Assessment of the factors that determine the nutrition status of children below 5 years in Uganda
Acham, Racheal Angopa
MetadataShow full item record
This study was carried out to assess the determinants of the nutrition status of children below 5 years in Uganda and it specifically aimed to determine the socio-demographic, maternal and economic factors that affect the nutrition status of children below 5 years in Uganda. The study used secondary data collected during the 2016 UDHS and this data was analyzed using SPSS software package at the univariate, bivariate and multivariate levels. The study’s descriptive statistics show that 21.5% of the children were stunted, 3.4% were wasted, 1.8% were overweight and 73.3% had normal weight. Also, majority of the children (50.4%) were males and only 49.6% were female. Analysis at the bivariate level revealed that there is a significant relationship between age, residence, maternal education, marital status, wealth and children’s nutrition status. Specifically, stunting was most prevalent among older children aged between 12-59 months while children aged between 0-17 months reported the highest cases of normal weight. Also, there were more stunted (22.7%) and wasted (3.5%) children in rural areas while majority of the children in urban areas had normal weight (79.4%). Stunting was most prevalent among the children from the poorer (26.3%) and poorest (25.0%) households and among mothers who had no education (28.2%) or only primary education (23.1%) while most children whose mothers had higher than secondary education (87.5%) or belonged to the richest (87.0%) and richer (77.3%) wealth indices had normal weight. Analysis at the multivariate level revealed that children aged between 0-8 months were less likely to be stunted while children aged 12-23 months were more likely to be stunted compared with children aged between 48-59 months. Children whose parents had no education or had attained only primary or only secondary education were more likely to be stunted and wasted but less likely to be overweight compared with children whose mothers had higher than secondary education. Also, children from the poorest, poorer, middle and richer wealth indices were more likely to be stunted and wasted but less likely to be overweight compared with children from the richest wealth index. The researcher therefore recommends that more sensitization programs should be put in place for mothers in both rural and urban areas on the kind of meals they can provide for their children to prevent childhood malnutrition. The government should also invest more financially in policies aimed at providing clean and safe water and affordable quality medical care to mothers and their infants to reduce their susceptibility to diseases and death.