Background: Ethiopia is one of the four low income countries
in achieving MDG4, however, minimizing child under-
nutrition became critical undertaking thus far. This review
aimed at identifying the predictors of under-5 children
nutrition in Ethiopia.
Methods: Databases searched were Med Line, HINARY,
MedNar and Embase. Furthermore, gray literatures were
also sought. All papers selected for inclusion in the review
were subjected to a rigorous critical appraisal using
standardized critical appraisal instruments from the Joanna
Briggs Institute. Quantitative papers were pooled for
statistical analysis and narrative synthesis. Odds ratios and
their 95% confidence intervals were calculated for analysis.
Papers of optimal quality but without optimal data set for
meta-analysis were subjected for narrative synthesis
Results: Nonadherence towards Optimal feeding
recommendations was the most reported predictor of
stunting and wasting, while, maternal education and ‘Water,
Sanitation and Hygiene’ factors were the second. The findings
of the Meta-analysis showed no evidence of association
between household income/wealth and stunting of children
in Ethiopia (OR=1.14, 95% CI= 0.97, 1.34), heterogeneity test:
i 2 = 92%, df = 20, (P < 0.00001). On the other hand, children
in low income/wealth group were 1.73 times more likely to
have wasting compared to children of the higher
income/wealth households (OR=1.73, 95% C I= 1.51, 1.97)
heterogeneity test: i 2 = 71%, df = 20, (P < 0.00001).
Conclusion: An over-reliance on macroeconomic growth as a
solitary factor towards undernutrition should not be the way
forward. Supplementary and more focused nutrition specific
and sensitive interventions are needed in Ethiopia.
Key words: child undernutrition, systematic review, meta-