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South African Journal of Child Health

versão On-line ISSN 1999-7671
versão impressa ISSN 1994-3032


AFOLABI, R F  e  PALAMULENI, M F. Exploring determinants of under-5 stunting in Malawi using a generalised linear mixed model. S. Afr. j. child health [online]. 2021, vol.15, n.1, pp.18-24. ISSN 1999-7671.

BACKGROUND: Although several studies have examined determinants of stunting, most fail to account for unobserved heterogeneity in clustered survey dataOBJECTIVE: To investigate the determinants of stunting among Malawian children under-5 years of ageMETHODS: The study utilised cross-sectional data on 5 686 children aged 0 - 59 months extracted from the 2015 - 2016 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey dataset. Data were analysed using a generalised linear mixed model applied to clustered dataRESULTS: Children who were female (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0.83; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.73 - 0.94), from wealthier households (aOR 0.68; CI 0.58 - 0.81), and whose mothers were overweight/obese (aOR 0.78; CI 0.65 - 0.94), aged 25 - 34 years (aOR 0.76; CI 0.62 - 0.93) or had at least a secondary level education (aOR 0.73; CI 0.56 - 0.94) were less likely to be stunted. The likelihood of stunting was higher among children who were anaemic (aOR 1.38; CI 1.20 - 1.59) and in whom respondents reported small birth size (aOR 1.61; CI 1.34 - 1.93). Age >12 months, being a twin or triplet and living in the Central region of Malawi also increased a child's risk of being stunted. About 3.0% of the variance in likelihood of being stunted occurred across communities (clustersCONCLUSIONS: Hidden community variations of child stunting in clustered-survey data need to be accounted for. Stunting strategies should be context specific

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