The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
YF conceived the idea of the study, managed data collection, analyses, and interpretation and critically reviewed the manuscript. AM conceptualized and assisted with design of the study as well as data interpretation and critical review of the manuscript. DH drafted the manuscript, assisted with data analysis and interpretation and critically reviewed the manuscript. BJS assisted with conceptualization of the study, data interpretation and critically reviewed the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Inadequate nutrition during the first two years of life may lead to childhood morbidity and mortality, as well as inadequate brain development. Infants are at increased risk of malnutrition by six months, when breast milk alone is no longer sufficient to meet their nutritional requirements. However the factors associated with nutritional status of infants after 6 months of age have received little attention in pastoralist communities of Ethiopia. Therefore this study aimed to identify the factors associated with nutritional status of infants and young children (6–23 months) in Filtu town, Somali Region, Ethiopia.
A cross-sectional community-based study was conducted. Simple random sampling was employed to select 214 infants for the study. Univariable and multivariable logistic regressions models were used in the statistical analysis. The strength of association was measured by odds ratios with 95 % confidence intervals. Both the crude (COR) and adjusted odds ratios (AOR) are reported.
The prevalence of wasting, stunting and underweight among infants and young children were 17.5 % (95 % CI: 12.91-23.22), 22.9 % (95 % CI: 17.6-28.9) and 19.5 % (95 % CI: 14.58-25.3) respectively. The multivariable logistic regression model showed that breastfeeding was independently associated with reduced odds of wasting (AOR = 0.38(95 % CI: 0.14-0.99)). Diarrhea in the past 15 days (AOR = 2.13 (95 % CI: 1.55-4.69)) was also associated with increased odds for wasting. The independent predictors of reduced odds for stunting were dietary diversity score ≥4 (AOR = 0.45(95 % CI: 0.21-0.95)) and introduction of complementary feeding at 6 months (AOR = 0.25 (95 % CI: 0.09-0.66)). Bottle feeding was associated with increased odds of stunting (AOR = 3.83 (95 % CI: 1.69-8.67)). Breastfeeding was associated with reduced odds of underweight (AOR = 0.24 (95 % CI: 0.1-0.59)), while diarrheal disease in the past 15 days was associated with increased odds of underweight (AOR = 3.54 (95 % CI: 1.17-7.72)).
Under nutrition is a public health problem among infants and young children in Filtu town, Somali region Ethiopia. Breastfeeding was associated with lower odds of wasting and underweight while diarrheal disease was associated with higher odds of wasting and underweight. Low dietary diversity scores, inappropriate age of complementary feeding initiation and bottle feeding were identified to be significant predictors of stunting. Those factors should be considered for any intervention aimed to reduce under nutrition among infants and young children in Filitu town, Somali region, Ethiopia.