Malnutrition continues to be an important public health problem not only in developing country but also in the world. In Ethiopia, child malnutrition rate is one of the most serious public health problems and highest in the world. The aim of this research is to assess prevalence of malnutrition and associated factors among under – five year’s children in Sheka Zone. A community based cross sectional study was conducted on 628 children from April 1-6, 2015. Multistage sampling method was used to select the study subjects. Data was collected using a pre-tested structured questionnaire by trained data collectors. Based on weight – for – age anthropometric index (Z – score) child nutrition status is categorized into three groups severely undernourished (< -3.0), moderately undernourished (-3.0 to -2.01) and nourished (-2.0). Since nutrition status is ordinal, an OLR model – proportional odds model (POM) is used to find predictors of both malnutrition and severe malnutrition. Prevalence of malnutrition in the study area is 29.0 underweight, 37.6 stunting and 16.1 wasting, and also 11.5%, 17.5% and 71% were severely underweight, mildly underweight and nourished respectively. The OLR(POM) model showed that child feeding status, duration of breast feeding, size of child at birth, had fever in the last two weeks, timing of child put to the breast, had diarrhea in the last two weeks, and preceding birth interval were the significant predictors of child malnutrition. Therefore, the concerned body should give implement on nutritional intervention activities at all level of the community especially on children’s feeding status, time when a child is to be put in to the breast after birth, and Children who were small in size at the time of birth.
Keywords: Malnutrition, Ordinal logistic regression, Proportional odds model, Under – five children