Prevalance and factors associated with stunting among children aged 6-59 months in Bala sub-county, Kole district.
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Introduction: Stunting is the most prevalent form of malnutrition. It is associated with prolonged under nutrition in most developing countries including Uganda. Malnutrition contributes to more than 50 percent of the deaths and morbidity among children below five years in developing countries. A child is ‘stunted’ if his or her height for age is less than negative two standard deviations from the reference population. The prevalence of stunting in Uganda has been estimated at 29 percent and still remains high. There is limited information on factors associated with stunting in Uganda. Objective: The objective of the study was to assess the prevalence and factors associated with stunting among children aged 6-59 months in Bala Sub County, Kole district to inform nutrition interventions in the area. Methods: A cross-sectional study that employed both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection. All the six parishes making up Bala subcounty were included and the villages were randomly selected. All the households with children aged 6-59 months were selected to participate in the study. 170 respondents were interviewed. A questionnaire and height or length measuring board were used to collect quantitative data while key informant interview guides and focus group discussion guides were used to collect qualitative data. Quantitative data was entered into EpiData, cleaned and analysed using Stata and results presented using appropriate figures and tables. Frequencies, percentages, mean, and standard deviation were used to describe the variables while Odds ratios was used to test for the factors associated with stunting. Qualitative data was analysed thematically Results: The prevalence of stunting was 30.6%. Males headed majority of the households. Stunting was associated to sex of child and number of children below five in a household. Stunting was not associated with the other socio-demographic and other factors like diseases, inadequate dietary intake (taking less than four food groups), family size, breast-feeding, exclusive breast-feeding and sanitation. Conclusion: There was high prevalence of stunting of under-five children in Bala Sub County at 30.6%. National public health intervention programs and stakeholders in Bala Sub County should ensure health extension workers educate mothers/caretakers on the importance of exclusive breast feeding, methods of complementary feeding, improving child nutrition to reduce on stunting