Frontiers in Nutrition (Jul 2021)

Magnitudes of Anemia and Its Determinant Factors Among Lactating Mothers in East African Countries: Using the Generalized Mixed-Effect Model

  • Biruk Shalmeno Tusa,
  • Adisu Birhanu Weldesenbet,
  • Nebiyu Bahiru,
  • Daniel Berhanie Enyew

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 8


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Background: The number of studies on the magnitude of anemia and its determinant factors among lactating mothers is limited in East African countries regardless of its multivariate consequences. Even though few studies were conducted on the magnitude of anemia and its determinants, most of them focused on the country level and different parts of countries. Therefore, the current study is aimed to determine the magnitude of anemia and determinant factors among lactating mothers in East African countries.Methods: From nine East African countries, a total weighted sample of 25,425 lactating mothers was included in the study. Determinate factors of anemia were identified using generalized linear mixed models (GLMM). Variables with a p < 0.05 in the final GLMM model were stated to confirm significant association with anemia.Result: The magnitude of anemia in East African countries was found to be 36.5% [95% confidence interval (CI): 35.55%, 36.75%]. Besides, as for the generalized linear mixed-effect model, age, educational status, working status, country of residence, wealth index, antenatal care service, place of delivery, history of using family planning in a health facility, current pregnancy, and visited by fieldworker in the last 12 months were factors that have a significant association with anemia in lactating mothers.Conclusion: In East Africa, more than one-third of lactating mothers have anemia. The odds of anemia were significantly low among young mothers (15–34), who had primary education, were working, country of residence, and higher wealth index (middle and high). In addition, the likelihood of anemia was also low among lactating mothers who had antenatal care, used family planning, delivered at a health facility, were pregnant during the survey, and visited by fieldworkers. Therefore, promoting maternal care services (family planning, Antenatal Care (ANC), and delivery at health facilities) and a field visit by health extension workers are strongly recommended.