Prevalence and determinants of stunting in under-five children in central Tanzania: remaining threats to achieving Millennium Development Goal 4Reportar como inadecuado

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BMC Public Health

, 15:1153

First Online: 21 November 2015Received: 24 February 2015Accepted: 17 November 2015DOI: 10.1186-s12889-015-2507-6

Cite this article as: Semali, I.A., Tengia-Kessy, A., Mmbaga, E.J. et al. BMC Public Health 2015 15: 1153. doi:10.1186-s12889-015-2507-6


BackgroundThe Millennium Development Goal No 4 MDG 4 requires countries to scale up interventions addressing malnutrition and other immediate determinants of burden of disease among children to reduce child mortality by two thirds by 2015, which is this year. Whereas globally some achievements have been registered, under-nourishment remains a significant problem in some developing countries such as Tanzania. This study set out to estimate the extent of stunting and its associated determinants to assess the progress made thus far towards achieving MDG 4 in Tanzania.

MethodsA random sample of 678 households with under-five children was selected from two randomly selected wards of Kongwa district in Dodoma region, Tanzania. The WHO anthropometric calculator, which computes Z-scores using a reference population, was used to process the anthropometric measurement data taken from all the participants. Children with height for age Z-score of less than 2 were categorised as stunted and coded as 1 and the rest were coded as 0. Proportions of stunting were compared using the chi-square test to determine the association between stunting and the independent variables. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was carried out to determine the Adjusted Odds Ratio AOR of the independent determinants of stunting. The cut-off for significant association was set at p = 0.05. All these analyses used the STATA 12 software.

ResultsAbout half 49.7 % of the children were stunted. This stunting was associated with belonging to households where the head of family was young <35 years AOR = 0.67, 95 % CI 0.47–0.96, p = 0.031, young age of the mothers AOR = 1.54, 95 % CI 1.06–2.24, p = 0.023, and economic variables such as owning a cellular phone AOR = 0.66, 96 % CI 0.46–0.94, p = 0.023.

ConclusionsStunting was highly prevalent in Kongwa district despite general improvements in child nutritional status at the national level. Household characteristics and economic status were found to play a major role in child health. In this regard, disaggregated analyses are therefore important in identifying resilient areas in need of concerted efforts for the MDG 4 to be achieved nationwide.

KeywordsStunting Child malnutrition Under-five children Millennium development goals AbbreviationsAORAdjusted Odds Ratio

DALLYsDisability Adjusted Life Years Lost

MDG4Millennium Development Goal number 4

MUHASMuhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences

PEMProtein Energy Malnutrition

SIDA-SARECSwedish International Development Co-operation Agency-Swedish Agency for Research Co-operation

WHOWorld Health Organisation

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Autor: Innocent Antony Semali - Anna Tengia-Kessy - Elia John Mmbaga - Germana Leyna


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