|Regional Disparities in the Magnitude of Orphanhood in Nepal|
||Guragain, A. M., Choonpradub, C., Paudel, B. K., and Lim, A.
||Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, 23 (3): 711 - 724
||Orphanhood is a vast problem in the world with impacts on the social and public health
sectors. Evidence-based information on the geographic distribution of orphans is an
important information gap in Nepal. The present study aimed to identify the proportion of
children who are orphans and their geographic distribution in Nepal. This study used the
population subset of 0-17 year olds from the nationally representative Demographic and
Health Survey (DHS) 2011, Nepal. The Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) method
was used while fitting a logistic regression model to adjust for the correlation among
children in the same household. The result was adjusted for age and sex of a child and
wealth index of the household. The analysis was further stratified by age groups. Of the
total 21,484 children, 1,142 (5.3%) were orphaned. Among the 13 sub-regions, Western
Mountain and Eastern Terai had higher and Central Hill had lower proportions of orphan
children than the overall mean. However, the results differed in age-stratified analysis. The
study also explored possible factors related to orphanhood: poverty and famine, conflict
and displacement, a high adult mortality related to HIV/AIDS and maternal causes. In
conclusion, the distribution of orphan children in households was found to vary by subregions.
Therefore, orphan welfare programmes should be focused on those regions with
higher proportions of orphans.
Keywords: Orphans, poverty, disparities, Generalized Estimating Equation (GEE), Nepal