Risk Factors of Underweight Among Under-Five Years Children in Rwanda, 2010

Edit original node
Author(s)
Alphonse Rukundo, M. Murindahabi, A. Mukabutera, C. Karema, A. Binagwaho
Date published
Apr, 2013
Last updated
29 Jan 2020

Summary

Background: Malnutrition contributes to child morbidity and mortality, impaired psycho-motor development and loss in national productivity in developing countries. Underweight is assessed by weight-for-age index which is a composite index of height-for-age and weight-for-height. It takes into account both acute and chronic malnutrition. Our aim was to determine major risk factors of underweight in children aged from 6 to 59 months in Rwanda.

Methods: A Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey 2010 enrolled 4504 under-fives children from 6270 households. Logistic regression was used to determine risk factors of underweight in bivariate and multivariate analyses.

Results: Anthropometric measurements were valid for 4068 children. Among the 465 under-weighted children (11.4%), 265 were boys (12.8%) and 203 were girls (10%). In multivariate analysis the following risks factors were identified. Being a boy (OR=2.3, 95% CI: 1.6-3.3), birth order (third: OR=2.1, 95% CI:1.1-3.8; fourth: OR=1.8, 95% CI: 1.06-3.3), low birth weight (OR=3.7, 95% CI:1.9-7.3), mother age at childbirth (more than 40th years: OR=4.2 95% CI: 1.9-9.5) and exclusive breast feeding (OR=1.8, 95% CI: 1.1-3.1). Protective factors were children with mother who took iron when pregnancy (OR=0.6 95% CI: 0.42-0.93), mother education (secondary or higher: OR = 0.09, 95% CI: 0.01-0.57) and living in richer and richest households (richer: OR=0.52, 95% CI: 0.28-0.96; richest: OR=0.41, 95% CI: 0.18-0.91).

Conclusion: Mixtures of multilevel actions are needed to improve nutritional status of under-fives children in Rwanda. At risk-groups include birth order (third and fourth); boys; mother’s low educational level; middle, poor and poorest households; low birth weight, age of mother at childbirth (40-49) and children not exclusively breastfeed.

Key words: Rwanda, children, under-fives, underweight, risk factors