Malnutrition and Child Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Growing Gap?

Soumya Alva, Analysis, Information Management & Communications Activity (AIM) and Macro International Inc.
Eckhard Kleinau, Analysis, Information Management & Communications Activity (AIM)
Kathy Rowan, Analysis, Information Management & Communications Activity (AIM)
Charles H Teller, Population Reference Bureau (PRB)

A trend analysis of the DHS from 25 countries in 4 geo-ecological sub-regions of Sub-Saharan Africa over the past two decades documents a disturbing gap between nutritional status and child mortality. The analysis based on countries with 2 or more surveys in the last 20 years including one since 2000 suggests that most of the countries and sub-regions encounter a stagnant or rising prevalence of malnutrition while child mortality continues to decline, especially in the Sahelian and South African sub-regions, and selected West and East African countries. A bivariate probit model for selected countries in West Africa further examines within-country socio-demographic, human development and health system functions as determinants of malnutrition and child mortality. This analysis partially explains why malnourished children may have a greater chance of survival and stresses the need for more effective approaches to reduce malnutrition.

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Presented in Session 154: Infant and Child Mortality II