Anaemia and its determinants among young children aged 6-23 months in Ethiopia (2005-2016)

Helen Heinrichs, Bilal Shikur Endris*, Tariku Dejene, Geert-Jan Dinant, Mark Spigt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Anaemia in children remains a significant public health threat. Recent numbers from Ethiopia showed that more than two-thirds of children under the age of 2 years were anaemic. This study aimed to investigate the determinants of anaemia throughout Ethiopia over 11 years, making use of the Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) rounds 2005, 2011 and 2016. The EDHS made it possible to use data on blood tests and detailed questionnaires among infants and young children. Multivariable logistic regression was applied to assess the association of anaemia and different immediate and underlying determinants. A total of 7,324 children aged 6-23 months were included in the analysis, with prevalences of anaemia being 71% in 2005, 61% in 2011 and 72% in 2016. The following determinants were significantly associated with childhood anaemia throughout the entire period: children younger than 1 year, anaemic mothers and those growing up in pastoralist regions. Risk factors such as diet and infections were consistently not significantly associated with anaemia. Given the tremendous adverse health effects of anaemia in young children, urgent action is needed. Hence, this study recommends nationwide multisectoral interventions targeting pastoralist regions, maternal and child health, screening and treatment of risk groups that could reduce the prevalence of anaemia.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13082
Number of pages13
JournalMaternal and Child Nutrition
Issue number2
Early online date23 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • DHS
  • Ethiopia
  • anaemia
  • children aged 6-23 months
  • determinants
  • prevalence
  • public health


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