A strong link between child malnutrition and poverty has been documented especially in developing countries. Considering one child under two year out of three in Rwanda suffers from some form of malnutrition, promoting community welfare seems to bring about beneficial outcomes in terms of reduction of malnutrition. This study aims to determine and estimate the risk factors associated with deprivation and infant malnutrition in Rwanda.
The methodology targeted mostly households with children under two years. Using two consecutive nationally representative population-based survey data of Rwanda, Demographic and Health Survey 2010/11 and 2014/15, the risk factors associated with the outcome were determined and using stepwise logistic regression analysis, the socioeconomic determinants were predicted.
The findings were estimated from a sample of children under two years: 3,441 and 2,975 in Rwanda Demographic and Health Surveys 2010 and 2014/15. Households in the lowest wealth quintile were more likely to have children experiencing malnutrition (OR= 1.61, 95% CI: 1.17-2.2, p < 0.05 in 2010/11; OR= 1.7, 95% CI: 1.23-2.35, p<0.01 in 2014/15) whereas deprivation was less likely to associate with malnutrition among children under two years (OR=0.53, 95% CI: 0.35-0.8, p < 0.001 in 2014/15). Overall, the trend went down significantly with the slope of 0.1536 suggesting a decrease of deprivation between two surveys by 0.065.
With the assumption of constancy of other factors, the trend of deprivation was significant to explain its association with infant malnutrition. Therefore, strengthening social protection interventions targeting the lowest wealth quintile category to afford food against price volatility are highly suggested.
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