Anemia is a public health problem affecting both developed and developing countries. Childhood anemia is associated with serious consequences including growth retardation, impaired motor and cognitive development, and increased morbidity and mortality. Hence, this study aimed at assessing the prevalence and factors associated with severity of anemia among children aged 6–59 months in Gondar town, northwest Ethiopia.
A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted. A multi-stage sampling technique was employed to select study participants. Socio demographic and socioeconomic data were collected using a pre-tested structured questionnaire. Anthropometric measurements were taken as per WHO recommendation. Hemoglobin (Hb) concentration was measured using a portable HemoCue301 instrument (A Quest Diagnostic Company, Sweden). Mild anemia corresponds to a level of adjusted Hb of 10.0–10.9 g/dl; moderate anemia corresponds to a level of 7.0–9.9 g/dl, while severe anemia corresponds to a level less than 7.0 g/dl. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the study participants. Both bivariable and multivariable ordinal logistic regression were done, and proportional odds ratio (POR) with a 95% confidence interval (CI) was reported to show the strength of association. A p-value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Out of the total of 707 children included in this study, more than half (53.5%) of them were male. The median age of children was 30 months. Two hundred two (28.6%) of children were anemic: 124(17.5%) were mildly anemic, 73(10.3%) were moderately anemic, and 5 (0.7%) were severely anemic. The young age of the child, low frequency of child complementary feeding per day, primary maternal educational status, unmarried maternal marital status, and home delivery were factors associated with severity of childhood anemia.
Anemia among children aged 6–59 months in Gondar Town was a moderate public health problem. Improving access to education, providing regular health education about childcare and child feeding practices, strengthening the socioeconomic support for single-parent families and conducting regular community-based screening are recommended to reduce childhood anemia.
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- Anemia severity among children aged 6–59 months in Gondar town, Ethiopia: a community-based cross-sectional study
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