Determinants of Child Malnutrition in Senegal: Individual, Household, Community Variables, and their Interaction

Abdoulaye Ka, Cellule de Lutte contre la Malnutrition (CLM)

There are numerous studies that show the correlates of child malnutrition using both household and community level variables. However, few of these studies test for the potential endogeneity of community infrastructure or indicate their interplay with characteristics of the mother. The current study looks at the socioeconomic determinants of child malnutrition at the individual and the household level in three regions in Senegal, and investigates how programs compensate for the increased risks facing young mothers and their children or substitute for a low social standing of the mother in the household. The empirical results show that while children of young mothers are at a disadvantage regarding their anthropometric status, there is an important role of NGOs and community healthposts in helping disadvantaged mothers overcome their difficulties. Recognizing the differential impact of community infrastructure on population subgroups adds to an improved understanding of the complex determinants of child (mal)nutrition.

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Presented in Session 143: Child Malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa: Determinants and Program Evaluations