Inequalities in Child Survival in Nigeria: A Multilevel Modelling Approach
Keywords:Childhood mortality, Multilevel model, Contextual factors, NDHS, Individual-level factors.
According to UNICEF estimates, Nigeria loses some 2,300 children aged five years or younger every year from mainly preventable causes. Many researchers have tried to shed light on the correlates of childhood mortality in Nigeria and targeted policies have led to declining rate of child mortality, but the rate of declining has been too slow for Nigeria to meet its MDG targets. Low coverage of interventions, a weak primary health care system, staffed by inadequate number of skilled health professionals, have been cited as some of the reasons behind the slow pace of reduction. Administratively, Nigeria is divided into regions, states within regions, and further sub-regional divisions that impact on how interventions can be rolled out to the population. Therefore, relevant researches on identifying the background of children who are most at risk need to take this multi-level structure into account. The aim of this paper is to build multi-level models that can help explain the variation in child mortality in Nigeria and in particular to determine factors that are associated with childhood mortality in different regions in Nigeria. We use data from the 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey to build multi-level model that takes effects at regional level and individual child attributes into account. The study found that the risks of death were higher for children of mothers residing in the North-east and North-west regions compared with children in South-west region of the country.
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