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Regional differences in childhood mortality in sub-Saharan African countries: exploring the role of poor environment and household poverty

Ngianga II Kandala, Coventry University
Anthonia Uwazurike, Kay Gee Communication Ltd
Ngianga-Bakwin Kandala, University of Warwick

Large regional variations in under-five mortality exist within many sub-Saharan countries. Poverty and poor geographic location as potential explanatory factors for these regional variations have seldom been considered despite it being implicated as a determinant of mortality in many developing countries. We study the regional differential of under-five mortality rates using the Demographic and Health Survey of Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia. Among the most important findings are that poor geographic location has an impact on child survival in addition to the impact of household socio-economic status. But even after accounting for the covariates, there is still a large amount of unexplained residual spatial effects that show a strong spatial structure. Factors other than poverty of the household may contribute to these differentials. It is suggested that regional variations in health care provision, environmental risks and cultural factors may provide an explanation for the spatial variation of mortality in the four countries.

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Presented in Session 90: Lessons in measuring poverty and human wellbeing