Determinants of infant and early childhood mortality in a small urban community of Ethiopia: a hazard model analysis

  • Assefa Hailemariam
  • Makonnen Tesfaye



By applying Cox's proportional hazard model regression analysis to data collected using a retrospective survey conducted in Sebeta, a town 25 Km west of Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, the paper examines the factors impinging on the survival of infants and children between 1 - 3 years of age. It is shown that for higher order births (more than 5), for births to young women (under 20 years of age), and for those to older women (more than 34 years of age), the risk of dying at infancy is higher. The risk of infant mortality is also high for births with short previous birth intervals. In fact, the length of the previous birth interval is found to be the single most important factor affecting the chances of survival during infancy. It is further shown that education of mother, occupation of father, household income, source of drinking water, availability of latrine, and survival status of older sibling have direct effect on infant mortality. Among these, source of water and availability of latrine are identified as having significant effects on infant mortality even after controlling for the effects of other variables. During early childhood, however, the effects of age at maternity, birth order and preceding birth interval becomes trivial. Following birth interval appears to have a strong effect on the chances of survival during early childhood. Household income, religion and survival status of the previous sibling are found to have significant effects on early childhood mortality. The findings provide solid ground to support strategies to broaden MCH/FP services, environmental health and income generating scheme to reduce the risk of death for infants and children. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 1997;11(3):189-200]


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