The Magnitude of Nutritional Underweight and Associated Factors Among Children Aged 6-59 Months in Wonsho Woreda, Sidama Zone Southern Ethiopia

Rahel Gamecha1, Tsegaye Demissie2, Amha Admasie2, *
1 Wonsho Woreda health office, Sidama zone, Hawassa, Southern Ethiopia
2 School of Public Health, College of health sciences and Medicine, Wolaita Sodo University, Wolaita Sodo, Ethiopia

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© 2017 Gamecha

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Public Health, College of health sciences and Medicine, Wolaita Sodo University, Wolaita Sodo, Ethiopia; Tel: +251-911-364739; E-mail:



Childhood under-nutrition is a major global health problem. Although the rate of under-nutrition in southern Ethiopia has substantially declined in the last decade, but it still remains the major causes of morbidity and mortality of children under-five years. Unfortunately, there was no study in this study area with respect to this topic of interest and therefore, this study was carried out to assess the magnitude of underweight and associated factors among children aged 6-59 months.


A community based cross sectional study was conducted in Wonsho Woreda, Southern Ethiopia. A total of 595 randomly selected child mother pairs were selected using cluster sampling method. Data were collected using a face-to-face interview and children anthropometric measurements. Child Dietary Diversity Score (DDS) was determined. World Health Organization Anthro software was used to convert anthropometric measurements into Z-scores. The data was analyzed using Epidata version 3.1 and SPSS version 20. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression model was used. A statistical significance was declared at p-value less than 0.05.


The overall prevalence of underweight was 122(20.5%) (95% CI, 17.3-23.8%), meanwhile, the prevalence of severe and moderate underweight was 7.1% and 13.4% respectively. Male children were 1.78 times more likely to be underweight than female children (AOR=1.78; 95%CI=1.17, 2.70). Unimmunized, children were 2.45 times more likely to be underweight (AOR=2.45; 95%CI=1.41, 4.24).


Prevalence of nutritional underweight was high in the study area. Driving factors of underweight were investigated and therefore, strong stakeholders’ collaboration is compulsory to address the future public health burden.

Keywords: Under-nutrition, Nutrition, Under weight, Wonsho Woreda, Ethiopia.