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Assessing and decomposing inequality of opportunity in access to child health and nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa: evidence from three countries with low human development index

Sanoussi, Yacobou, Ahinkorah, Bright Opoku, Banke-Thomas, Aduragbemi and Yaya, Sanni (2020) Assessing and decomposing inequality of opportunity in access to child health and nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa: evidence from three countries with low human development index. International Journal for Equity in Health, 19 (1). ISSN 1475-9276

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Identification Number: 10.1186/s12939-020-01258-5

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Inequality of opportunity in health and nutrition is a major public health issue in the developing regions. This study analyzed the patterns and extent of inequality of opportunity in health and nutrition among children under-five across three countries sub-Saharan Africa with low Human development index (HDI). METHODS: We used data from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey of the Democratic Republic of Congo (20,792 households, 21,756 women aged 15 to 49 and 21,456 children under five), Guinea Bissau (6601 households, 10,234 women aged 15-49 and 7573 children under five) and Mali (11,830 households, 18,409 women in 15-49 years and 16,468 children under five) to compute the human opportunity index (HOI) and the dissimilarity index (D-index). Secondly, the Shapley decomposition method was used to estimate the relative contribution of circumstances that are beyond the control of children under-five and affecting their development outcomes in later life stages. RESULTS: The study revealed that children belonging to the most favorable group had higher access rates for immunization (93.64%) and water and sanitation facilities (73.59%) in Guinea Bissau. In Congo DR, the access rate was high for immunization (93.9%) for children in the most favorable group. In Mali, access rates stood at 6.56% for children in the most favorable group. In Guinea Bissau, the inequality of opportunity was important in access to health services before and after delivery (43.85%). In Congo DR, the inequality of opportunity was only high for the immunization composite indicator (83.79%) while in Mali, inequality of opportunity was higher for access to health services before and after delivery (41.67%). CONCLUSION: The results show that there are efforts in some places to promote access to health and nutrition services in order to make access equal without distinction linked to the socio-economic and demographic characteristics in which the children live. However, the inequalities of opportunity observed between the children of the most favorable group and those of the least favorable group, remain in general at significant levels and call on government of these countries to implement policies taking them into account.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://equityhealthj.biomedcentral.com/
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors
Divisions: LSE Health
Subjects: R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2020 23:20
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2021 00:08
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/106485

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