Background: Stunting is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality among under-five children. It is used to assess nutritional status of children by measuring their length/height and age. The purpose of this study was to assess prevalence and factors associated with stunting among children of ages between 24 to 59 months in Butajira town and surrounding district, Gurage zone, Southern Ethiopia. Methods: Community based cross sectional study was conducted among children of ages between 24 to 59 months in February 2013. A multistage sampling technique was used to select the study participants. A total of 764 participants were included in our study with 95.3% response rate. Data were entered into Epi data version 3.1 and exported to SPSS 20.0 statistical software for analysis. Bivariate and multivariate analysis was done to assess factors associated with stunting. Odds ratio with 95% CI was used to identify statistically significant association between independent variables with stunting. Result: The prevalence of stunting in our study was 52.5%. Children whose age were between 24 to 35 months were 3.13 times; AOR=3.13 (95% CI=1.88, 5.18) more likely developed stunting than children whose age were between 48 to 59 months. Those children residing together with three under-five children were 4.52 times; AOR=4.52 (95% CI=2.41, 8.45) more likely developed growth stunting than single child in the household. The likely hood of stunting were 4.27 times higher among divorced/widowed compared to married mothers; AOR=4.27(95% CI=1.72, 10.57). Those children who fed breast for less than two years were 5.32 times more likely developed stunting compared to those who fed two or more years; AOR=5.32(95% CI=2.23, 12.71) and those who had repeated acute respiratory tract infection attack were about 2 times more likely developed stunting compared to their counterpart; AOR=2.07(95% CI=1.13, 3.56). Conclusion: Being younger child, living with other under five children, divorced/widowed marital status, repeated attack of respiratory infection and less than two years duration of breast feeding were significantly associated with growth stunting. Thus concerned body working on child health should consider these factors to alleviate the burden of stunting.
Zeritu Dewana, Teshale Fikadu, Wolde Facha and Niguse Mekonnen
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