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Trends and Determinants of Small Birth Weight in Ethiopia: Further Analysis of Ethiopian Demographic and Health Surveys

Ayantu Kebede
Alemi Kebede
Sena Belina
Yonas Biratu


BACKGROUND፡ Globally, Low Birth Weight (LBW) prevalence is estimated to be 14.6%. It is a major cause of neonatal mortality in developing countries including Ethiopia. Despite extensive institution-based studies in Ethiopia, there is no comprehensive study using countrywide data. Thus, this study aimed to investigate trends and determinants of Small Birth Weight (SBW) among under-five children in Ethiopia.
METHODS: Under-five children data from 2000, 2005, 2011, and 2016 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Surveys (EDHS) were used. However, only 2787 children were weighed at birth and used for analysis in this study. Descriptive statistics and the logistic regression model were used to determine trends and determinants of SBW respectively.
RESULTS: The prevalence of SBW increased from 7.0% (95% CI; 3.1-10.0) to 13.2% (95% CI; 11.4-15.0) between 2000 and 2016. The odds of SBW increased by being a female child (AOR 1.50; 95% CI [1.07-2.09]), mother’s with partner occupation of agriculture (AOR 1.54; 95% CI [1.05-2.26]) and mothers who did not know their partner’s occupation (AOR 7.35; 95% CI [1.96-27.48]). However, infants born to mothers with primary (AOR 0.43;95% CI [0.29-0.65]), secondary (AOR 0.30; 95% CI [0.16-0.55]) and higher (AOR 0.55; 95% CI [0.31-0.97]) educational status versus no education and grandmultiparous mothers (OR 0.39; 95% CI [0.19-0.78]) versus primiparous had lower odds of SBW.
CONCLUSION: In Ethiopia, during the survey period, there was an increment in prevalence of SBW, and maternal related factors were significant determinants. Therefore, empowering mothers through education and improving the socioeconomic status of the household can be one strategy to reduce SBW.

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eISSN: 2413-7170
print ISSN: 1029-1857