1. bookVolume 14 (2021): Issue 23 (December 2021)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2286-2552
First Published
16 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Determinants of Under-Five Child Mortality in Arab Countries. Are the Effects Homogeneous Across Birth Order and Among Countries?

Published Online: 30 Dec 2021
Volume & Issue: Volume 14 (2021) - Issue 23 (December 2021)
Page range: 34 - 49
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2286-2552
First Published
16 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

Under-five-child mortality remains a major challenge for governments in the Arab world to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Thus, further studies are needed to analyze the determinants of child mortality. The Multiple Indicators Cluster Surveys (MICS) datasets of six Arab countries (Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Mauritania, Sudan, and Tunisia) have been used, which are consisting of 249.000 children nested within 54.644 mothers. The study was designed in a women-parity-covered one to six birth order. Binary multivariable logistic models were used to estimate the risk ratios of death by adjusting for child sex, birth outcome (twin vs. singleton), mother’s education level, maternal age, previous birth interval, place of residence (rural vs. urban), and the family wealth index. The findings revealed that the under-five child mortality rates were 87, 70,66,35,36, and 21 per 1000 live births in Sudan, Mauritania, Egypt, Iraq, Algeria, and Tunisia, respectively). First-born infants in these six countries have a higher risk of mortality during their five years of life. Second, third-and fourth-born infants were at a decreased risk of death compared to first-born infants in all countries; in contrast, fifth-and-sixth-born infants were at an increased risk in all countries except Sudan and Mauritania. Twin children have a higher risk of death than singletons in all countries and across all birth orders. Children of mothers with higher educational levels living in urban areas are at lower risk of death than their peers across all birth orders. Regarding policy implications, decision-makers can target three main axes: first, enhancing women’s educational levels; second, increasing birth intervals (birth spacing policies); and third, improving living standards and healthcare strategies, especially in rural areas to improve child and mother health.

Keywords

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