Socio-economic factors influencing under-five mortality and survival in Tanzania, 2010
Mhambi, Ntoayiphatwa Nimrod
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Aim of the study: The study of the study was to examine the socio-economic factors influencing under-five mortality using the 2010 Tanzania Demographic Health Survey (TDHS). This study aimed to determine which maternal, child and environmental factors that are associated with under-five mortality and child survival in Tanzania. Methods: This study involved a secondary data analysis of the 20 10 Tanzania Demographic Health Survey (TDHS) data set of children under-five years of age and women who had experienced the death of children who were under-five years. The Cox proportional hazard analysis was used to examine the relationship between under-five mortality and maternal, child and environmental factors and child survival in Tanzania. The survival prospects for the children were projected and compared through maternal, child and environmental factors. Results: In the multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression, child factor variables which are positively associated with under-five mortality in this study include breastfeeding and multiple births. In view of environmental factors, the variables which showed significant association with under-five mortality in this study included type of place of residence, household size and regional zones. Children born to women who are married or living together with their partners have shown to survive longer than those born to those women who have never married or formerly married ( 4.725). Consistent with other findings of demography studies, the mean survival time analysis in this study indicated a higher survival time for female children (4.740) than their male counterparts (4.675). The results further showed that children of mothers residing in the Lake region [H.R =1.27, P=0.25, 95% C.I (0.56- 1.41)] were having significantly higher risks of under-five mortality compared to children in the Western region. Conclusion: In view of the analysis done on the maternal, child and environmental factors of this study, it can be justifiably concluded that breastfeeding, household size, child is twin/multiple births, type of bednet(s) slept under last night, type of place of residence and regional zones were some of the variables which showed significant association with under-five mortality and greater influence on child survival in this study. A surprising and strange finding was the increased survival time of households of 8+. In view of this finding, a reasonable inference that can be drawn is the fact that in such households, there may be more people who contribute to the household keeping and resources necessary for both the mother and the child. The most outstanding and interesting finding of this study was that breastfeeding until 13 months and more showed the highest survival time at 4.873 months whilst not breastfeeding "correctly" showed the least survival time of 2. 170 months. The multivariate regression of this study showed a highly significant relationship between the duration of breastfeeding and child mortality (p-value=0.000). Given the fact that breastfeeding had the highest impact on reducing child mortality, the study recommends that awareness campaigns for breastfeeding be intensified and a conducive environment for breast-feeding should be encouraged in all facets of society.
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