Factors Associated With Malnutrition among Under Five Children: A Case Study of Northern Uganda
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Malnutrition among under-five children is one of the most important public health problems in developing countries especially Sub-Saharan Africa and about 35% of under-five deaths in the world are associated with malnutrition. An estimated 230 million under-five children are believed to be chronically malnourished in developing countries. Similarly, about 54% of under-five deaths are believed to be associated with malnutrition in developing countries. Malnutrition in Uganda starts at infancy and rises steeply, peaking at about two years when about 50% of toddlers are stunted and from the UDHS 2016 findings, Northern (50%) and South Western Uganda (40%) regions are more affected than other regions. Malnutrition among children is an outcome of many interrelated factors therefore this current study aimed at finding the relationship between demographic factors, socio-economic factors and consumption practices of children malnutrition. Data was analyzed at two levels “uni-variate and bi-variate analysis” were frequency distribution tables were used to establish the background characteristics of the respondent and pearson`s chi-square test was used to measure the association between malnutrition and each of the selected independent variable. Results indicated mother`s education and wealth index had an association with malnutrition among under-five children and children born by mothers with higher education status were less exposed to the risk of malnutrition compared to those with lower education levels. Children born by rich mothers were less likely to be stunted compared to those born by middle income earners and the poor. However, other factors were not associated with malnutrition since the p-value was greater than 0.05 which made the stated null hypotheses for these factors true. Therefore, girl child education and women empowerment programmes should be invested in much by the government and non-government institutions in order to curb or mitigate problem in the country most especially in Northern and South West of the country.