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.