Examining mother’s related socioeconomic and demographic determinants of infant and child mortality in the Eastern Cape, South Africa
Raji, Olabisi Omowunmi
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Infants and under 5 mortality have been universally researched and it reduction by twothird by 2015 has been announced as one of the millennium development goal of the United Nation. Continuous monitoring in form of studies on mothers related factors that determines infant, child and under 5 mortality appears to be a step towards achieving this goal. Therefore using the Eastern Cape Province as a case study, this study utilises the secondary data of the 1998 South Africa Demographic and Health Survey (SADHS) dataset for children to examine some specific mothers related socioeconomic and demographic determinants of infant and child mortality. As at the time this study is being conducted the SADHS 2003 survey datasets are not available. However, reports that summarize the survey and some preliminary results are available. In this study, infant and child mortality have been grouped into 0-12 months and 13-60 months age at death,which is taken as independent variable. Profiles of the distributions of the dependent and the independent variables are described with the aid of cross tabulation. Demographic factors examined include the age of the mother at the time of delivery, order of birth and birth interval, while the socioeconomic factors examined include working status of the mother, mother‟s work place (at home work at home or away) mothers‟ education level , and the place of residence. We found that demographic variables such as age of mothers at first birth, birth order, birth interval, and socioeconomic factors such as mothers‟ education level, and the place of birth, have a significant effect on the probability of child‟s survival. Therefore, the postponement of the female age at birth with an appropriate child spacing, nonetheless, the improvement mother‟s education will enhance the reduction of infant and child mortality. Steps that may be taken towards improving the health status of infant and child, including ways by which infant and child mortality may be reduced are recommended.