STUDY ON STUNTING OF 6 TO 59 MONTHS CHILDREN AND FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITHIN AT GARDEZ CITY, PAKTIA PROVINCE OF AFGHANISTAN
Introduction: Evidence about risk factors of Stunting is useful to design appropriate policies and strategies to control health problems. Objective: A cross-sectional study was conducted among children aged 6-59 months in Paktia Regional Hospital. Material and Methods: A total of 400 children were included in the study. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire and anthropometric measurement. The interview was conducted with parents/caretakers of the children to fill the questionnaire. SPSS version 25.0 statistical software was used for analysis. Cross tabulation and Logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify factors associated with the nutritional status of the children. Results: Statistical association was declared significant if the p-value was less than 0.05. The prevalence of Stunted was 41%. Variables; Gender, Family size, Number of children under 5, Life status of parents, Father's educational level, Mother's educational level, Annual income status, Food items do you feed to children, Awareness about weaning and supplementary food, Awareness about malnutrition, Age Weaning food should be started, Breast-feed status, period of time to feed breast, Food during Pregnancy, Status of immunity, Vaccinated during pregnancy, The age gap between babies and mothers' malnutrition (MUAC) status are statistically associated with Stunting. Height for age (stunted) is high among children aged 6–59 months in Gardez Town. Conclusion: Lack of awareness on malnutrition and child feeding, maternal nutrition status, family size, family income, and the age gap between babies are risk factors of malnutrition. Thus, therefore, the concerned bodies must design policies, which can improve the livelihood of households, works on information dissemination using mass media about malnutrition, weaning, and supplementary foods, and family planning and on meals during pregnancy.