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Eshetu Zerihun is working as a lecture at Arbaminch University, Ethiopia. He has published many research articles in National and international journals.


Lactation has different effects on maternal nutritional status. Lactating mothers from low-income settings are considered as nutritionally vulnerable group. Even though, growing number of studies reported the existence of maternal under-nutrition, very few studies in Ethiopia highlighted the issue of under-nutrition among lactating mothers. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of under-nutrition and its associated factors among lactating mothers in rural areas of Ambo district, West Shewa Zone, Central Ethiopia, February 2016. A community based cross-sectional study was conducted among randomly selected 619 lactating mothers. A pretested and structured questionnaire was used to collect socio-demographic data. Weight and height were measured. Body Mass Index was calculated to assess the nutritional status. Descriptive statistics was used to describe the data. Binary logistic regression was performed to assess the association between each independent and dependent variable. Adjusted odds ratios with its 95% confidence interval were estimated to identify factors associated with the outcome variable in multivariable logistic regression. The overall prevalence of under-nutrition (BMI < 18.5 kg/m2) was 21.5%; 95% CI (18.3, 24.9). Lactating mothers within the age group of 17-25 had 6.8 times more likely to be undernourished than those mothers in the age group of 36-49 [AOR=6.82; 95% CI (1.84, 25.27)]. Mothers who were unable to read and write were 2.45 times more likely to be undernourished than those mothers who had formal education [AOR=2.45; 95%CI (1.22, 4.94)]. Mothers from poor family wealth index were 1.76 times more likely to be undernourished than rich [AOR=1.76; 95% C I (1.05, 2.95)]. In nutshell, the result of this study revealed substantial proportion of under-nutrition among lactating mothers. Age of mother, educational status of the mother and family wealth were found to be the predictors of under-nutrition. Thus, strong multi-sectoral collaboration targeted at improving women educational status and increasing the family wealth is essential.

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