Despite some progress, stunting prevalence in many African countries including Ethiopia remains unacceptably high. This study aimed to identify key interventions that, if implemented at scale through the health sector in Ethiopia, can avert the highest number of stunting cases. Using the Lives Saved Tool (LiST), the number of stunting cases that would have been averted, if proven interventions were scaled-up to the highest wealth quintile or to an aspirational 90% coverage was considered. Stunting prevalence was highest among rural residents and households in the poorest wealth quintile. Coverage of breastfeeding promotion and vitamin A supplementation were relatively high (>50%), whereas interventions targeting women were limited in number and had particularly low coverage. Universal coverage (90%) of optimal complementary feeding, preventive zinc supplementation, and water connection in homes could have each averted 380,000–500,000 cases of stunting. Increasing coverage of water connection to homes to the level of the wealthiest quintile could have averted an estimated 168,000 cases of stunting. Increasing coverage of optimal complementary feeding, preventive zinc supplementation, and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services is critical. Innovations in program delivery and health systems governance are required to effectively reach women, remote areas, rural communities, and the poorest proportion of the population to accelerate stunting reduction.
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