Departmental Bulletin Paper Acute malnutrition among under-five children in Faryab, Afghanistan: prevalence and causes

Muhammad, Kamel Frozanfar  ,  Yoshida, Yoshitoku  ,  Yamamoto, Eiko  ,  Reyer, Joshua A.  ,  Dalil, Suraya  ,  Abdullah, Darman Rahimzad  ,  Hamajima, Nobuyuki

78 ( 1 )  , pp.41 - 53 , 2016-02 , Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, School of Medicine
Acute malnutrition affects more than 50 million under-five (U5) children, causing 8.0% of global child deaths annually. The prevalence of acute malnutrition (wasting) among U5 children in Afghanistan was 9.5% nationally and 3.7% in Faryab province in 2013. A cross-sectional study was conducted for 600 households in Faryab to find the prevalence and causes of acute malnutrition. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using a logistic model. Demographic results of this study showed that 54.0% of the household heads and 92.3% of the mothers had no education. Three-fourths of households had a monthly income ≤ 250 USD. According to the measurement of weight for height Z-score (WHZ), 35.0% (210/600) of the children had acute malnutrition (wasting, WHZ < −2). In more than half of the households, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) conditions were poor. When adjusted, a significant association of acute malnutrition among U5 children was found with the education level of household heads (OR=1.49; 95% CI, 1.02–2.17), age of household heads (OR=2.01; 95% CI, 1.21–3.35), income (OR=1.66; 95% CI, 1.04–2.27), education level of mothers (OR=2.21; 95% CI, 1.00–4.88), age of children (OR=1.99; 95% CI, 1.32–2.93), history of children with diarrhea in the last two weeks of data collection (OR=1.57; 95% CI, 1.10–2.27), feeding frequency (OR=3.01; 95% CI, 1.21–7.46), water sources (OR=1.89; 95% CI, 1.26–2.83), and iodized salt (OR=0.59; 95% CI, 0.39–0.88). The present study indicated that an increase in education level of parents, household income, and quality of WASH would result in a significant decrease in prevalence of wasting among U5 children.

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