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Modelling and Forecasting Spatio-temporal Variation in the Risk of Chronic Malnutrition among Under-Five Children in Ghana
Authors: Justice Moses K. Aheto, Benjamin M. Taylor, Peter J. Diggle, and Thomas J. Keegan
Source: Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology, 21(37–46);
Topic(s): Child health
Children under five
Country: Africa
Published: MAR 2017
Abstract: Background: Spatio-temporal variation in under-five-year-old children malnutrition remains unstudied in most developing countries like Ghana. This study explores and forecasts the spatio-temporal patterns in childhood chronic malnutrition among these children. We also investigate the effect of maternal education on childhood malnutrition. Methods: We analysed data on 10,036 children residing in 1,516 geographic locations. A spatio-temporal model was fitted to the data and was used to produce predictive maps of spatio-temporal variation in the probability of stunting. Results: The study found substantial spatio-temporal variation in the prevalence of stunting. Also, higher levels of mother’s education were associated with decreased risk of being stunted. Conclusion: Our spatio-temporal model captured variations in childhood stunting over place and time. Our method facilitates and enriches modelling and forecasting of future stunting prevalence to identify areas at high risk. Improving maternal education could be given greater consideration within an overall strategy for addressing childhood malnutrition.