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East African Medical Journal

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Prevalence and determinants of low birth weight in Jimma zone, Southwest Ethiopia

T Tema

Abstract


Objectives: To assess the prevalence and determinants of low birth weights (LBW).

Design: A cross-sectional descriptive study.

Setting: Four health centers (Jimma, Agaro, Asendabo and Shebe) within 5-50 km radius from Jimma University and Jimma University hospital from September 1, 2002 to March 30, 2003.

Subjects: Mothers with newborns delivered in the above institutions and those delivered at home and received care within the first 24 hours after delivery in the above health care settings.

Results: A total of 145 (22.5 %) of the newborns were LBW. Mothers residing in the urban setting had higher risk of delivering LBW babies and the difference was statistically significant (p = 0.00). Analysis of maternal obstetric history revealed that those mothers who delivered before 37 weeks of gestation, had weight loss, and who did not receive additional diet during pregnancy had higher risk of delivering LBW babies and the difference was statistically significant (p = 0.01, 0.00, 0.00) respectively. Similarly, those who had multiple gestations had a higher risk of delivering LBW babies and the difference was statistically significant (p = 0.00).

Conclusions: Despite the fact that the method of sampling used in this study has its own limitation, the prevalence of LBW in this study was relatively higher than the reported current estimate of LBW in Ethiopia. Therefore, it is recommended that special attention should be given to adequate rest and additional diet during pregnancy and making antenatal services available and accessible to all pregnant women.

East African Medical Journal Vol. 83(7) 2006: 366-371



http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/eamj.v83i7.9448
AJOL African Journals Online