SALOMON Oscar Daniel
Substantial reduction in child stunting is differentially associated to geographical and socioeconomic disparities in Misiones Province, Argentina
NUÑEZ, PABLO A.; SOLEDAD FERNÁNDEZ, MARÍA; TURJANSKI, PABLO; PÉREZ, ADRIANA; ROMINA RIVERO, MARÍA; DE ANGELO, CARLOS; SALOMÓN, OSCAR D.; CUETO, GERARDO
TROPICAL MEDICINE AND INTERNATIONAL HEALTH
WILEY-BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, INC
ObjectiveTo estimate trends in the prevalence of child stunting in the population of children under 5 years of age covered by public health programs, between 2009 and 2014 in Misiones, Argentina.MethodsUsing Bayesian model‐based geostatistics, we evaluated 724,872 anthropometric measurements corresponding to 110,633 children. In order to identify disparities at local scale we evaluated the hypotheses of a differential reduction of stunting according to the geographical location (at two‐level spatial resolution) and to the socioeconomic level in a rural or urban environment.ResultsThe prevalence of stunting had fallen significantly in the province overall. Sex and age defined gender disparities at individual level, and there were regional disparities with higher prevalence values in the north and northeast regions. In these areas stunting decreased to a greater degree during the studied period, although the spatial pattern remained smoother. Stunting increased in peripheral urban and dispersed rural areas that are socioeconomically vulnerable.ConclusionsThe spatial multi‐level geostatistical estimates of child undernutrition provide a precision public health tool to target public policies to those populations with the greatest need, in order to reduce health disparities.