Breastfeeding and Child Health in Uganda
The study sets out to estimate the effect of breastfeeding and health knowledge on child mortality and stunting. We used a nationally representative UDHS data of 2011 merged with the community section of the UNHS 2011 in order to bring on board community variables, such as distance to the health facility, that are potential instrumental variables. We employed various techniques; OLS, IV and control function during the analysis. We find that breastfeeding and health knowledge reduce child mortality but not child stunting irrespective of the analytical technique employed. Just as previous literature documents, the OLS estimate of the coefficient on breastfeeding and health knowledge is biased downwards compared to the IV and control function estimates. Government efforts towards sensitizing the masses about the importance of breastfeeding should be strengthened. Additionally, government needs to prioritize health knowledge impartation to women of reproductive age that are no longer in school. Additionally school curricular should be improved to include the impartation of health knowledge to students at an early stage of education in order to mitigate poor child health outcomes for the future generation.
Keywords: Breastfeeding, child mortality, child stunting, Uganda