Anemia has severe public health significance in sub-Saharan Africa. In Ethiopia, anemia has been increasing in the last two decades, reaching the highest national level in 2016, however, the geospatial distribution and determinants of anemia in children weren’t well explored at a national level.
We used the Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey(EDHS) data from 2005-2016. The data consists of samples of households (HHs) obtained through a two-stage stratified sampling procedure. Our analysis included 19,699 children. Descriptive statistics, geospatial analysis, and Generalized Linear Mixed Model (GLMMs) were used.
The overall prevalence of anemia was 51.5%; the spatial distribution of anemia significantly different across clusters in each survey. Children from 6 to 11 months had higher odds of anemia compared to 24-59 months (Adjusted Odds ratio (AOR) = 3.4, 95%Confidence level (CI): 2.99-3.76). Children with the first and second birth order were less likely to be anemic compared to fifth and above (AOR = 0.60, 95%CI: 0.38-0.95, and AOR = 0.83, 95%C: 0.73-0.93) respectively. Mothers’ age 15 to 24 years was associated with higher odds of anemia compared to 35 to 49 years (AOR = 1.37, 95%CI: 1.20-1.55). Children from HHs with the poorest and poorer wealth category showed a higher odds of anemia compared to the richest (AOR = 1.67, 95%CI: 1.45-1.93, and AOR = 1.25, 95%CI: 1.08-1.45) respectively. Moreover, children from HHs with one to two under-five children were less likely to be anemic compared to those three and more (AOR = 0.83, 95%CI: 0.76-0.91).
The geospatial distribution of anemia among children varies in Ethiopia; it was highest in the East, Northeast, and Western regions of the country. Several factors were associated with anemia; therefore, interventions targeting the hotspots areas and specific determinant factors should be implemented by the concerned bodies to reduce the consequences of anemia on the generation.

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