Assessment of anemia and associated risk factors among children under-five years old in the West Guji Zone, southern Ethiopia: Hospital-based cross-sectional study

PLoS One. 2022 Jul 5;17(7):e0270853. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0270853. eCollection 2022.


Background: Anemia adversely affects children's mental, physical and social development, particularly in Africa. In the early stages of life, it leads to severe negative consequences on the cognitive, growth and development of children.

Objective: This study aimed to assess anemia and associated risk factors among children under-five years old in the West Guji Zone, southern Ethiopia, from October to November 2020.

Method: A hospital-based quantitative cross-sectional study was conducted at Bule Hora General Hospital, Southern Ethiopia. A convenience sampling technique was used to include 375 under-five children enrolled in the study. The pretested structure questionnaire was used to collect socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of study individuals after taking appropriate written informed consent. Then, a venous blood sample was collected from each child and analyzed for hemoglobin determination using a Midray BC 3000 Plus machine. Binary logistic regression models were used to identify associated factors of anemia. A p-value ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Result: The overall prevalence of anemia among under-five children was 13.2% (50) [95% CI = 5.2-21.2%]. Among anemic children under-five years of age, 12% (6) had mild anemia, 32% (16) had moderate anemia and 56% (28) had severe anemia. In this study, anemia was significantly associated with a history of intestinal protozoan infection [AOR = 2.55, 95% CI = 1.28-10.42], malaria infection [AOR = 5.01, 95% CI = 0.18-11.44] and soil-transmitted helminths infection [AOR = 6.39, 95% CI = 1.75-29.08].

Conclusion: The prevalence of anemia among under-five children was found to be low in the study area; however, the majority of anemic children were in a severe stage. It could be managed by preventing malaria infection, intestinal protozoa and soil-transmitted helminthic infection.

MeSH terms

  • Anemia* / complications
  • Anemia* / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethiopia / epidemiology
  • Helminthiasis* / complications
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Soil


  • Soil

Grants and funding

The authors not received specific funding for this work.