The Prevalence and Determinants of Stunting among Children 6 - 59 Months of Age in One of the Sub-Counties in the Rwenzori Sub-Region, Western Uganda
Masereka, Enos Mirembe
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Introduction: Despite being referred to as one of the country’s “food baskets”, 41% of children, 6 - 59 months of age in the Rwenzori sub-region, Western Uganda are stunted. Stunting is a form of chronic malnutrition in which children are short for their age. In this study, we established the prevalence and determinants of stunting in one of the sub-counties in this region. Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study conducted in one of the sub-counties in the Rwenzori sub-region, Western Uganda from May 26th to June 26th, 2018. A total of 372 mothers and their children were recruited using systematic sampling. Data was collected using a questionnaire. Stunting was determined by taking child’s height or length and comparing it with child’s age. A child whose height or length for age index was less than −2 Standard Deviations (SD) was considered stunted. We used descriptive statistics to understand characteristics of mothers and multivariable logistic regression model to obtain the determinants of stunting. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 20. Results: A total of 372 mothers and their children were included in this study; majority, 307 (83.0%) of the children were 6 - 24 months old and nearly half, 167 (44.9%) were stunted. We found that reserving food stock for use in the dry season (aOR = 0.23, CI = 0.08 - 0.62, p = 0.004), deworming children (aOR = 0.32, CI = 0.18 - 0.54, p = 0.001) and the family earning at least 10,000 Ushs (2.7USD) at the end of the month (aOR = 0.36, CI = 0.22 - 0.58, P = 0.001) were associated with no stunting. Conclusions: We found a high prevalence of stunting among children 6 - 59 months of age. We recommend enforcing ownership of food granary by households especially during dry season, support to de-worming programs targeting children below five years of age and establishing community based income generating livelihood projects.