Differentials in infant and child mortality in East Africa

Gideon Rutaremwa, University of Pennsylvania


Using data from the 1990 round of censuses of East Africa, the current study adopts a comparative approach to examine differentials in under-five mortality in this African sub-region. Whereas much of the recent research in under-five mortality in East Africa has dwelt on country specific studies, the current investigation attempts to contribute to knowledge and expand understanding by examining three main issues: first, to examine urban differentials in under-five mortality. Second, to examine the extent to which national context is related to under-five mortality among the Luo population group. Lastly, to investigate the spatial differentials in under-five mortality within context of the East African Rift Valley region. In Chapter 1, I examine the methodological aspects particularly the count-data analysis techniques. In Chapter 2, the study shows that under-five mortality risks are less in Nairobi than in Kampala or Dar-es-Salaam. Estimates of trends in under-five mortality, however, reveal an increase in mortality rates for Nairobi since the mid-1980s. Comparison of results indicates that the pattern of individual covariates of under-five mortality is similar for the three major cities of East Africa. In Chapter 3, I investigate Luo under-five mortality differentials in East Africa. The findings suggest that irrespective of political and geographic setting, the factors that influence under-five mortality among the Luo are similar. Furthermore, the study shows that country specific differentials in under-five mortality exist, with the highest incidence rates estimated for Uganda followed by Kenya and the least for Tanzania. Finally, the thrust of Chapter 4 is to examine geographic differences in under-five mortality in the Rift Valley regions of the three countries. The findings suggest that differentials are substantial and could not be overcome by controlling for socioeconomic variables. Except for Luo mortality, which was higher in Kenya than in Tanzania, current results suggest less under-five mortality risks for Kenya than Uganda and Tanzania for the population groups examined. Though several correlates of under-five mortality are examined in this study, mother's educational level attainment and household type of toilet facility are the most important.

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Recommended Citation

Rutaremwa, Gideon, "Differentials in infant and child mortality in East Africa" (2002). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3043945.