Spatial Determinants of Childhood Morbidity in Sub-Saharan Africa: Implications for Child Survival

Ngianga-Bakwin Kandala, University of Southampton

In Sub-Saharan Africa, diarrhea, fever, and cough diseases are the most frequent causes of illness and are major contributors to mortality among children under 5 years of age (WHO, 1998). This paper examines the health effect of these three ailments in the high-risk group of under-five year old. Child morbidity provides an indication of potential health effects associated with the important issues of air pollution, breastfeeding and other environmental issues (e.g. crowding and socio-economic status). As an exploration of cause-specific morbidity, this study help to map variations in diarrhea, fever, and cough illnesses as a basis for identifying areas requiring special interventions and investigate associations between environmental pollution or other risk factors. The 1992 DHS data of Malawi and Zambia are used. The results show that district-level socioeconomic characteristics are important determinants of child morbidity. Independent of other factors, a separate spatial pattern produces district clustering of child morbidity.

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 5: Health and Mortality