Open Access Research article

Prevalence and risk factors for stunting and severe stunting among under-fives in North Maluku province of Indonesia

Ramli1, Kingsley E Agho2*, Kerry J Inder1, Steven J Bowe1, Jennifer Jacobs2 and Michael J Dibley3

Author Affiliations

1 Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

2 School of Medicine, the University of Western Sydney, NSW, Australia

3 School of Public Health, the University of Sydney, NSW, Australia

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Pediatrics 2009, 9:64  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-9-64

Published: 6 October 2009

Abstract

Background

Adequate nutrition is needed to ensure optimum growth and development of infants and young children. Understanding of the risk factors for stunting and severe stunting among children aged less than five years in North Maluku province is important to guide Indonesian government public health planners to develop nutrition programs and interventions in a post conflict area. The purpose of the current study was to assess the prevalence of and the risk factors associated with stunting and severe stunting among children aged less than five years in North Maluku province of Indonesia.

Methods

The health and nutritional status of children aged less than five years was assessed in North Maluku province of Indonesia in 2004 using a cross-sectional multi-stage survey conducted on 750 households from each of the four island groups in North Maluku province. A total of 2168 children aged 0-59 months were used in the analysis.

Results

Prevalence of stunting and severe stunting were 29% (95%CI: 26.0-32.2) and 14.1% (95%CI: 11.7-17.0) for children aged 0-23 months and 38.4% (95%CI: 35.9-41.0) and 18.4% (95%CI: 16.1-20.9) for children aged 0-59 months, respectively. After controlling for potential confounders, multivariate analysis revealed that the risk factors for stunted children were child's age in months, male sex and number of family meals per day (≤2 times), for children aged 0-23 months, and income (poorest and middle-class family), child's age in months and male sex for children aged 0-59 months. The risk factors for severe stunting in children aged 0-23 months were income (poorest family), male sex and child's age in months and for children aged 0-59 months were income (poorest family), father's occupation (not working), male sex and child's age in months.

Conclusion

Programmes aimed at improving stunting in North Maluku province of Indonesia should focus on children under two years of age, of male sex and from families of low socioeconomic status.