Factors associated with malnutrition among children under the age of five a case study of Northern Uganda
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Malnutrition is still a significant global public health issue, particularly for children under the age of five. The high burden of wasting, stunting and underweight among children under five years of age is of great concern to policy makers and public health practitioners in Uganda. Prevention and treatment of malnutrition is a priority in the United Nations 2030 development agenda. This study investigated the risk factors for malnutrition among children aged 0-59 months in northern Uganda. Secondary data from the 2016 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey was utilized. Bivariate analysis and multivariate conditional logistic regression were used to determine the association between risk factors and childhood malnutrition (stunting, wasting and underweight). The risk factors associated with stunting were sex of the child (p=0.035), age of the child(p=0.000), region (p=0.001), wealth index of the family(p=0.023), wasting was statistically associated with region (p=0.000), household wealth index (p=0.036), child’s size at birth (p=0.005), and mother’s age (p=0.010). and maternal level of education (p=0.000), and also factors such as age of the child (p=0.000), region (p=0.005), household wealth index (p=0.005), child’s size at birth (p=0.038) are statistically associated with underweight. This finding suggests that interventions to reduce under-five malnutrition in northern Uganda may benefit from focusing on improvement of maternal nutritional status and formal education.