Environmental and Socio-Demographic Risk Factors of Childhood Mortality: Evidence from Longitudinal Surveillance Data

Kubaje Adazu, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Michael J. White, Brown University

We investigate the determinants of infant and child mortality in a rural sub-Saharan setting, exploiting several years of data from longitudinal demographic surveillance in the area. We present evidence on the extent to which environmental and socio-demographic risk factors influence child survival in the Kassena-Nankana district of Ghana. We use multivariate hazard models to disentangle the effects of these risk factors on infant and child mortality. Our results point clearly to effects of individual and household level covariates, and they further implicate contextual and environmental conditions, such as season, urban residence, and female migration, even in this relatively homogenous population. We find that males, children of parents with limited education, and mothers who are rural-rural migrants are disadvantaged. We conclude that a better understanding of the several forces underlying childhood mortality could help intervention program managers to target children who are most vulnerable in similar settings.

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Presented in Session 168: Determinants of Child Health in Developing Countries