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Abstract online early

Household resources as determinants of child mortality in Ghana     [ Original Research ]

Submitted: 11 September 2016
Revised: 29 March 2017
Accepted: 7 April 2017

Author(s) : Nutor J, Bell JF, Slaughter-Acey JC, Joseph JG, Apesoa-Varano E, de Leon Siantz M.


Background: Although the association between child mortality and
socioeconomic status is well established, the role of household assets as predictors of
child mortality, over and above other measures of socioeconomic status, is not well
studied in developing nations. We investigated the contribution of several household
resources to child mortality, beyond the influence of maternal education as a measure of
socioeconomic status.
Method: This secondary analysis used data from the 2007 Ghana Maternal
Health Survey to explore the relationship of child mortality to household resources. The
analysis of 7,183 parous women, aged 15–45 years, examined household resources for
their association with maternal reports of any child’s death under-age-five using survey-
weighted logistic regression model while controlling for socio-demographic and health
Result: The overall household resources index was significantly associated with
the death of one or more child in the entire sample [adjusted odd ratio (OR)= 0.95; 95%
CI: 0.92, 0.98]. In stratified analysis, this finding held for women living in rural, but not in
urban areas. Having a refrigerator at the time of interview was associated with lower odds
of reporting child mortality [OR = 0.63; 95% CI: 0.48, 0.83]; on the other hand, having a
kerosene lantern [OR = 1.40; 95% CI: 1.06, 1.85] or flush toilet [OR = 1.84; 95% CI: 1.23,
2.75] was associated with higher odds of reporting child mortality. Adjusted regression
models showed only possession of a refrigerator retained significance.
Conclusion: Possession of refrigerator may play a role in child mortality. This
finding may reflect unmeasured socioeconomic status or the importance of access to
refrigeration in preventing diarrhea disease or other proximal causes of child mortality in
sub-Saharan Africa.

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