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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

Predictors of nutritional recovery time and survival status among children with severe acute malnutrition who have been managed in therapeutic feeding centers, Southern Ethiopia: retrospective cohort study

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Delelegn Yilma Gebremichael
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The author declare that there is no competing interest.

Authors’ contributions

Principal investigator (*1) proposed, designed and implemented the study, and did the analysis and write-up. Then read, critically commented, and approved the final manuscript.



Malnutrition remains to be one of the most common causes of morbidity and mortality among children in developing countries. The prevalence of wasting in Ethiopia remained about 10 % for the past ten years. Mortality rate of children with severe acute malnutrition treated in inpatient set ups has remained unacceptably high.


A retrospective cohort study was conducted in Southern Ethiopia. The study population were children with severe acute malnutrition aged from 6 to 59 months who have been managed at Karat and Fasha stabilization centers between September 30, 2013, and Sep. 29, 2014. The total sample size was 420 and pretested questionnaire was used. Kaplan Meier analysis was used to estimate time to nutritional recovery and Cox proportional-hazard regression analysis was carried out to determine independent predictors.


Nutritional recovery rate was 3.61 per 100 person day observations. Median nutritional recovery time was 22 and 29 days for edematous malnourished and severely wasted children respectively. The independent predictors of nutritional recovery rate were: stabilization center (AHR = 1.4, 95 % CI: 1.1–1.7), malnutrition status (AHR = 1.8, 95 % CI: 1.3–2.4), weight (AHR = 1.5, 95 % CI: 1.2–1.9), mid- upper arm circumference (AHR = 1.4, 95 % CI: 1.1–1.9), inpatient complications (AHR = 2.2, 95 % CI: 1.4–3.5) and did not lose edema within four days of inpatient treatment (AHR = 2.3, 95 % CI: 1.1–4.8).


The findings of this study confirm the probability of surviving gets slimmer with inpatient complications and staying longer in stabilization centers. So, to prevent complications and enhance recovery rate due emphasis should be given in improving early detection and treatment of severely malnourished children in Ethiopia.
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