Factors Associated with Stunting in Children Under Five Years of Age: A Case of Buhara Sub County, Kabale District.
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Under nutrition, especially stunting has continued to be a health burden among children of less than five years of age living in low- and middle-income countries. Kigezi sub region, Kabale District is faced with the problem of child stunting with 30 percent of the under-five years stunted. The study assessed factors associated with stunting among children less than five years of age in Buhara Sub County Kabale District. The study employed a cross-sectional descriptive design with qualitative and quantitative strategies in data collection from 380 participants drawn from a population of 5728 households. Data were collected using validated questionnaires and interviews over a period of one month with the help of trained research assistants. Generated data were exported to Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21 and analysed in frequencies, percentages, confidence intervals, chi-square test and multinomial regression and presented in tables and charts. The study made the following findings in line with the objectives: low household income, child illness in the last few weeks incomplete child vaccination (p- Value = 0.005 < 0.05 and p- value = 0.001 < 0.05), the child’s guardian ethnicity with (p- value = 0.013 < 0.05 and 0.000), open defecation, indiscriminate waste disposal, 18(4.7%) 95 CI= 028311725 - .073831273) and use of unprotected water sources, were the major factors associated with stunting. The child gender, child’s care taker and child’s birth order were equally linked with stunting with (p- Value = 0.023 < 0.05, p- value = 0.003 < 0.05 and, p- value = 0.002 < 0.05) respectively. The MUAC of children in the study with yellow result was 2.6% (.012690006 - .047862066), standard deviation of height 11.3cm and weight 2.7kg. The household financial security was seen to have influenced household food security, diversification, and supplementation. About 82(21.6%, CI; 175466713 - .260603736 eat supplements once a months, while 187(49.2%, CI; (.440755412 - .543579017 do not eat any food supplements at all. The child’s household source of drinking water was significant to nutritional status of children under 5 years especially with regards to drinking water from unprotected source which is the predisposing factor to gastrointestinal infection that is among the risk factor for stunting. The study recommended that, Kabale District local government in conjunction with Buhara Sub County leadership should come up with ordinances and byelaws on how to improve community sanitation and hygiene practices especially improving toilet coverage, hand washing and proper disposal of the wastes to avoid stunting as they pose great risk to diarrheal diseases leading to mal-absorption food. Keywords Stunting Children, Under Five Years, Age, Buhara Sub-County, Kabale District.
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