Patterns and predictors of childhood undernutrition in Nigeria from 2008-2018: A pooled data analysis
Childhood undernutrition remain a public health problem, despite several policies and initiatives are being implemented to achieve Sustainable Development Goals 2 and 3, which aim to eradicate all forms of hunger and malnutrition and to improve child well-being by 2030. This study examined the pattern and predictors of Childhood Undernutrition in Nigeria from 2008-2018. The study used a cross-sectional dataset from Nigeria Demographic and Health Surveys years 2008, 2013 and 2018. The respondents selected were 7,394 women of reproductive age with at least one child in the five years preceding the surveys. Data were analyzed using univariate analysis of frequency distribution, bivariate analysis of Chi-square test and multivariate analysis using binary logistic regression model. The stunting and underweight cases among children though slightly decreased over the years, were still on high side. Stunting was 47.5% in 2008, 36% in 2013 and 36% in 2018 while underweight was 31.1% in 2008, 30.5% in 2013 and 22.7% in 2018. The multivariate analysis showed that childhood stunting and underweight was statistically significantly associated with age of mothers, age at first birth, region, religion, level of education, wealth status, place of delivery, birth order, antenatal visit, place of residence, visitation to health facility within the last 12 months, exposure to media and employment status, preceding birth interval, decision making on health care and contraceptive use (P < 0.05).The study concluded that age of mothers, age at first birth, region, religion, level of education, wealth status, place of delivery and birth order were related to childhood under-nutrition in Nigeria. The study ascertained the needs for intervention programmes against childhood under-nutrition would help to mitigate short and long terms adverse outcomes among children in Nigeria. Also, social change programmes on undernutrition taking age of mothers, age at first birth, region, religion, level of education, wealth status, place of delivery and birth order into consideration may help to reduce adverse outcomes of under-nutrition among under-five children.