Factors associated with the nutritional status of children under-five years of age with diarrhoea in Ohangwena Region, Namibia

Maria Francineth Bauleth, Honore Kabwebwe Mitonga, Lusia Ndahambelela Pinehas


Purpose: This study aims at assessing the nutritional status of children under-five years of age with acute diarrhoea, determine the prevalence of malnutrition and identifying factors associated with undernutrition among children under 5 years old in Ohangwena Region, Namibia.

Methods: Cross-sectional, non-interventional study was conducted. A structured questionnaire was administered through face to face interviews. A total of 530 children under-five years from 530 households were included in this study. The nutritional index was measured based on Child Growth Standards proposed by WHO. The anthropometric measures used included mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) and weight-for-age Z score (WAZ). Logistic regression was applied to determine the factors associated with the prevalence of malnutrition.

Results: The overall prevalence of diarrhoea among the children under-five years was 24%, of these, 77% were suffering from malnutrition. Malnutrition prevalence was observed to be significantly associated with a child suffering from diarrhoea (p < .05) and children aged between 12-23 months p .001. Equally, the highest prevalence of malnutrition 29.4% [95% CI = 24.65; 34.15] was found amongst children under-five years old with mothers/caregivers aged 18-30 years. The strongest predictor of malnutrition was the mother/caregiver not being an educated recording odds ratio of 20.2.

Conclusions: This study identified the need to develop and intensify strategies that may improve nutritional status in children under-five years such as health education, improved literacy, and women empowerment.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijh.v6n2p23


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International Journal of Healthcare  ISSN 2377-7338(Print)  ISSN 2377-7346(Online)

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