Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences

Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences
Open Access

ISSN: 2155-9600


Factors Associated with Anemia among Lactating Mothers in Subsistence Farming Households from Selected Districts of Jimma Zone, South Western Ethiopia: A Community Based Cross-Sectional Study

Mihiretu Alemayehu

Introduction: Anemia is the most common nutritional deficiency disorder affecting one third of the global population. Lactating mothers are more susceptible because of maternal iron depletion during lactation, blood loss during childbirth and inadequate nutrient intake. Morbidity associated with chronic anemia extends to loss of productivity from impaired work capacity, cognitive impairment, and increased susceptibility to infection. Nevertheless, many Ethiopian mothers remained anemic yet the availability of information is limited. Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 327 randomly selected lactating mothers residing in the two districts. Interviewer administered questionnaire was used to collect demographic characteristics and anemia risk factors. Finger prick blood sample was analyzed by Hemocue device to determine hemoglobin level. Epi-data and SPSS version 20 were used for data entry and analysis. Bivariate and multivariable regressions were used to identify candidate and predictor variables of anemia, respectively. All associations were considered statistically significant at alpha <0.05. Results: Overall, 28.7% (95% CI: 24.1%, 33.6%) of mothers were anemic with mild and moderate anemia accounting for 25.8% and 2.9%, respectively. Multi-gravidity (AOR=2.32 (95% CI: 1.12, 4.84), lower ante-natal frequency (AOR=2.37 (95% C.I.: 1.20, 4.71)), lower meal frequency/day (AOR=2.28 (95% C.I.: 1.12, 4.63)), food insecurity (AOR=4.19(2.83, 21.13)), mild undernutrition (AOR=0.35 (95% C.I.: 0.10, 0.80)) and lower dietary diversity (AOR=2.32 (95% C.I.: 1.65, 5.72)) were predictors of anemia. Conclusion: Anemia is public health problem in the study community, where one in every four lactating mothers was anemic. Antenatal follow up should be encouraged in order to reserve and prevent iron depletion during breastfeeding period, while frequent births need to be alleviated through family planning. Multi-sectoral collaboration is needed to improve the feeding practice, dietary diversity, food insecurity and undernutrition of study community in order to prevent anemia.