Factors associated with malnutrition among children under five years in Karamoja
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The 2016 UDHS revealed that nearly four in ten Ugandan children under-five years of age, 29 percent are stunted (short for their age), 4 percent are wasted (thin for their height), and 11 percent are underweight (thin for their age) and 4 percent are overweight (heavy for their height), more so Karamoja having the highest percentages of children who are wasted (10%). This indicates that Uganda has a gap as regards to the achievement of the sustainable development goal (SDG) 3, target 2 preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births by 2030. This study aimed at understanding factors associated with malnutrition status among children under 5 years. We used the 2016 UDHS children under 5 data set. We focused and analyzed findings on 228 children under five to whom Children under five Biomarker questionnaires was administered. The explanatory variables were; sex of the child, Age of the child (months), marital status, the age of the mother, mother’s education level, place of residence, wealth status and the dependent variable was malnutrition index (stunting, underweight and wasting). Approximately, 79.39%, 83.77% and 79.82% of the children under five were stunted, wasted and underweight respectively. Age of child (months) and place of residence were significantly associated with malnutrition among children under five years at bivariate analysis. Interventions to improve malnutrition among children under five should include the need for exclusive breast feeding during the first six months of life and thereafter semi-solid complementary foods are introduced up to at least two years or more. This will consequently reduce on the underweight and wasted children who are mostly aged less than three years. Encouragement of nutrition programs and services that should focus on male inclusion and participation through sensitization campaigns indicating the merits gotten by males supporting their wives and/or partners through providing financial and social support since poverty is the major underlying factor for malnutrition.