Prevalence of Protein-energy Malnutrition in Children under Five Years of Age Admitted to Pediatric Wards at Asella Referral and Teaching Hospital, Arsi Zone, Oromiya, Ethiopia
Malnutrition is a serious problem in Ethiopia as a result of which there is a high rate of mortality of children under the age of five years. The main objective of this paper is, therefore, to
identify the prevalence of protein energy malnutrition and determine factors contributing to it for children under the age of five years that were admitted to Asella Referral and Teaching Hospital in Arsi administrative zone, central Ethiopia. Data were collected from 367 sample households selected randomly from a total of 6554 respondents. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression model. The results revealed that 12%, 46% and 14% children were underweight, stunted and wasted, respectively. This implied that there is less severe problem form of protein energy malnutrition status. It was also found that sex of children, educational level of parents, distance of work place of caregiver from home, age of children, age of caregiver, marital status, family size, and family income were predictors of protein energy malnutrition. In addition, educational level
of parents and economy of parents were important components for ensuring good nutritional of children. Therefore, improving parents’ economy and literacy of the community (especially female literacy) is instrumental in minimizing protein energy malnutrition for under five-year children. Moreover, it is advisable if nutritional status of children be assessed periodically to monitor the situation and to take appropriate measures for combating and preventing malnutrition in children.