Factors influencing stunting among children in rural Tanzania: an agro-climatic zone perspective
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This paper analyzed stunting in children in Tanzania and its linkages to agro-climatic conditions and related factors, unraveling the complex interactions of determinants of under-nutrition in two contrasting regions of Tanzania. We used logistic regression models to establish relationships between stunting and multiple variables belonging to different domains. The prevalence of stunting and severe stunting in children was 41% and 21% respectively, while 11% of women had a Body Mass Index of below 18.5. Results also indicate that 17% of children and 16% of women were anaemic. Regression analysis showed that major determinants of child stunting in the semi-arid Dodoma region are cultivated land size, gender and age of the child, duration of breastfeeding, household size, use of iodized salt and the distance to a water source. In sub-humid Morogoro, cultivated land size, a child’s age, duration of breastfeeding, literacy status of the mother and Body Mass Index of the mother predict stunting. We discuss how these factors influence the nutrition status of children in each agro-climatic region. The pooled model provided strong evidence to link agro-climatic zone characteristics to stunting among children. It is recommended that nutrition interventions should be specific to agro-climatic environments. Implementing agro-climatic sensitive interventional actions may help to reduce undernutrition and food insecurity in specific areas.
KeywordsNutritional status Agro-climate Rural Stunting Kitchen gardening Anaemia
The work in this paper was funded by the Innovating Strategies to Safeguard Food Security using Technology and Knowledge Transfer: A People-Centred Approach Project (‘Trans-SEC’). The Trans-SEC project is financially supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and co-financed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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