Nutrition baseline survey report for the national nutrition program of Ethiopia

Nutrition baseline survey report for the national nutrition program of Ethiopia

Due to a high prevalence of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies in Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Government approved the country’s first-ever National Nutrition Strategy (NNS) in February 2008 to address these issues. Following this endorsement, the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), in collaboration with partner organisations, developed the National Nutrition Program (NNP) to implement the NNS in order to reduce the magnitude of malnutrition in Ethiopia, especially amongst children under the age of five and pregnant and lactating women.

A baseline nutrition survey was carried out in May and June of 2009. The baseline survey is designed to cover all parts of the country. Information is captured for indicators of demographics, food security, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, as well as the nutritional status of children, adolescent girls and women.

Some of the major findings of the survey reported at national level are as follows:

  • among all fathers, mothers and caretakers, 60 per cent have no schooling
  • among all households, only 57 per cent are using an improved source of drinking water, with differences between urban (87 per cent) and rural (46 per cent); overall, just 3 of 10 households (30 per cent) are treating or boiling water for drinking purposes
  • only 27 per cent of households are using an improved toilet facility with differences between urban (52 per cent) and rural (18 per cent)
  • among all households, 65 per cent are classified as being food secure, 21 per cent mildly food insecure, 13 per cent moderately food insecure and only 1 per cent severely food insecure
  • of all women with a pregnancy in the previous two years, 64 per cent had fewer than the WHO minimum recommendation of at least four ANC visits
  • a small proportion (17 per cent) of women reported taking iron/folate tablets during pregnancy
  • urban women are more likely to use a doctor (28 per cent) or nurse (34 per cent) for the birth of their child, while rural women are more likely to use a non-trained traditional birth attendant (33 per cent) or relatives/friends (37 per cent)
  • universal immunisation coverage of children 6 to 23 months of age is 29 per cent, while almost one quarter does not have any vaccinations at all
  • exclusive breastfeeding is reported for 51 per cent of the children 0 to 5 months of age, with 88 per cent of children under two years old still being breastfed
  • urban children (47 per cent) and those children with more educated mothers (65 per cent) are more likely to meet the minimum dietary diversity
  • 34 per cent of children are underweight, with differences between urban (22 per cent) and rural (37 per cent)
  • nutritional status of adolescent girls show that 23 per cent were stunted, with girls 13 to 14 years old and those living in rural areas more likely to be stunted; 14 per cent of adolescent girls have a low body mass index for age