1 School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, Private Bag X01, Scottsville 3209, Durban, South Africa
Malnutrition is one of the leading causes of under-five mortality globally. With the estimated target of reducing mortality in this age group by 2030, understanding and determining the factors contributing to child mortality are critical.
The current study used Demographic Health Survey (DHS) data from Angola (2016), Malawi (2016) and Senegal (2016). The DHS data for under-five children from these three countries were then combined in this study to create a pooled sample. This method allows for a comparison and generalization of the results across countries and has also been used in previous studies. The dependent variables (severely nourished, moderately nourished and nourished) were developed by using calculated Weight-for-age Z-scores (WAZ) from DHS data. The exploratory analysis was conducted by performing a gamma measure and chi-square test of independence to evaluate the association between malnutrition status and covariates.
Results & Discussion:
Based on the generalized linear mixed model, the type of residence, sex of the child, age of the child, mother’s level of education, birth interval, wealth index and the birth order are correlated to malnutrition in Angola, Malawi and Senegal. Children who are from rural communities, poor households, with a mother having attained primary education, are female and are between the age of 24 and 59 months are associated with malnutrition. The results of the study suggest that children from these three countries who reside with mothers who have attained only primary education are at the highest risk of being affected by malnutrition.
The results show the necessity of collaboration among the three countries in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target.
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