Prevalence of Under Nutrition and its Associated Factors Among Pregnant Women in Konso District, Southern Ethiopia: Community Based Cross Sectional Study



Background: Under nutrition during pregnancy is an important public health problem. It is highly prevalent in Ethiopia but not sufficiently addressed yet. Hence, this study aimed to assess the prevalence of under nutrition and its associated factors among pregnant mothers in Konso district, Ethiopia.

Methods: Community based cross-sectional study was conducted with qualitative inquiry study from December 2018 to January 2019. A multistage stratified sampling technique was used to select 527 subjects. Quantitative data were collected using pretested structured questionnaire. The qualitative data were generated through two focus group discussions among purposely selected discussants. Mid upper arm circumference (MUAC) was measured by standard non stretchable MUAC tape. Data were entered into Epi-data version3.1 and analyzed by SPSS version 21. In multivariable binary logistic regression statistically significant association was declared at p-value < 0.05 while thematic framework analysis was employed for the qualitative data.

Results: Among 501 participants, the overall prevalence of under nutrition was 43.11% (95% CI 38.76%-47.47%). Family food insecurity (AOR = 3.1; 95%CI: 2.1-4.6), low dietary diversity score (AOR = 4.9; 95%CI: 2.6-9.2), medium dietary diversity score (AOR = 2.3; 95%CI: 1.2-4.7), absence of latrine (AOR = 1.8; 95%CI: 1.2-2.6) and having family resource decision making by husband only (AOR = 1.7; 95%CI: 1.1-2.6) were significantly associated factors. Traditional believes to restrict food such as egg, milk and milk products, avocado for women, weak nutrition education and malnutrition screening program, daily consumption of locally prepared alcoholic drink called ”Cheka”, draught prone nature of this setting, 2 traditional way of farming practices and low socioeconomic status were found to be barriers for women"s under nutrition.

Conclusions: The prevalence of under nutrition was found to be higher than previously reported findings. Food security, dietary diversity, latrine availability, family resource decision making, food restrictions, weak maternal nutrition education and malnutrition screening program, practice of depending on local alcoholic drink called “Cheka”, draught, traditional way of farming and low socioeconomic status were identified factors. Hence, interventions targeting maternal nutrition education, hygiene and sanitation promotion, house hold food insecurity improvement strategies should be implemented to improve nutritional status of pregnant women.

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