Background and objectives: In Ethiopia, acute malnutrition is one of the potential challenges in achieving sustainable development goal in reducing child mortality. Thus, this study was aimed to determine factors associated with acute malnutrition among children aged 6-59 months attending public health facilities of Jimma town, South West of Ethiopia.
Methods: Institution based age matched case-control study design was employed. Two hundred thirty four children aged from 6-59 months were randomly selected. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 20. Variables that have p≤0.25 in the bivariate analyses were entered into multivariable regression analysis to determine the independent predictors of acute malnutrition.
Results: This study showed that lack of maternal education (AOR=4.08, 95%CI, 1.46, 11.40), poor child feeding (AOR=5.97, 95% CI, 1.83,19.44), low wealth index (AOR=3.76, 95% CI, 1.24,11.38), less hand washing (AOR=5.57, 95%CI, 1.82,16.97), diarrhoea report (AOR=3.58, 95%CI, 1.15,11.07) and bottle feeding (AOR=3.98, 95% CI, 1.29,12.36) were positively associated with acute malnutrition among children attending public health facilitates of Jimma town.
Conclusion: Findings of this study indicated that sex of child, family size, household wealth index, bottle feeding and maternal knowledge of child feeding were found to be independent predictors of acute malnutrition. Therefore, emphasis should be given to strengthen caregivers’ socioeconomic status and upgrading knowledge of mothers regarding child feeding practices.
Keywords: Malnutrition, child feeding, public health, jimma town