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Regional inequalities in under-5 mortality in Nigeria: a population-based analysis of individual- and community-level determinants
Authors: Diddy Antai
Source: Population Health Metrics, 2011, 9:6
Topic(s): Childhood mortality
Infant mortality
Country: Africa
Published: MAY 2011
Abstract: Regions with geographically diverse ecology and socioeconomic circumstances may have different disease exposures and child health outcomes. This study assessed variations in the risks of death in children under age 5 across regions of Nigeria and determined characteristics at the individual and community levels that explain possible variations among regions. Methods: Multilevel Cox proportional hazards analysis was performed using a nationally representative sample of 6,029 children from 2,735 mothers aged 15-49 years and nested within 365 communities from the 2003 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey. Hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used to express measures of association among the characteristics. Variance partition coefficients and Wald statistic were used to express measures of variation. Results: Patterns of under-5 mortality cluster within families and communities. The risks of under-5 deaths were significantly higher for children of mothers residing in the South South (Niger Delta) region (HR: 1.30; 95% CI: 1.76-2.20) and children of mothers residing in communities with a low proportion of mothers attending prenatal care by a doctor(HR: 1.36; 95% CI: 1.15-1.86). In addition, the cross-level interaction between mothers'education and community prenatal care by a doctor was associated with a more than 40% higher risk of dying (HR: 1.41; 95% CI: 1.21-1.78). Conclusion: The findings suggest the need to differentially focus on community-level interventions aimed at increasing maternal and child health care utilization and improving the socioeconomic position of mothers, especially in disadvantaged regions such as the South South (Niger Delta) region. Further studies on community-levels determinants of under-5 mortality are needed.