Socio-Economic Inequalities in Child Stunting Reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa.
ABSTRACT: Stunting in children less than five years of age is widespread in Sub-Saharan Africa. We aimed to: (i) evaluate how the prevalence of stunting has changed by socio-economic status and rural/urban residence, and (ii) assess inequalities in children's diet quality and access to maternal and child health care. We used data from nationally representative demographic and health- and multiple indicator cluster-surveys (DHS and MICS) to disaggregate the stunting prevalence by wealth quintile and rural/urban residence. The composite coverage index (CCI) reflecting weighed coverage of eight preventive and curative Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health (RMNCH) interventions was used as a proxy for access to health care, and Minimum Dietary Diversity Score (MDDS) was used as a proxy for child diet quality. Stunting significantly decreased over the past decade, and reductions were faster for the most disadvantaged groups (rural and poorest wealth quintile), but in only 50% of the countries studied. Progress in reducing stunting has not been accompanied by improved equity as inequalities in MDDS (p < 0.01) and CCI (p < 0.001) persist by wealth quintile and rural-urban residence. Aligning food- and health-systems' interventions is needed to accelerate stunting reduction more equitably.
Project description:Coverage levels for essential interventions aimed at reducing deaths of mothers and children are increasing steadily in most low-income and middle-income countries. We assessed how much poor and rural populations in these countries are benefiting from national-level progress.We analysed trends in a composite coverage indicator (CCI) based on eight reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health interventions in 209 national surveys in 64 countries, from Jan 1, 1994, to Dec 31, 2014. Trends by wealth quintile and urban or rural residence were fitted with multilevel modelling. We used an approach akin to the calculation of population attributable risk to quantify the contribution of poor and rural populations to national trends.From 1994 to 2014, the CCI increased by 0·82 percent points a year across all countries; households in the two poorest quintiles had an increase of 0·99 percent points a year, which was faster than that for the three wealthiest quintiles (0·68 percent points). Gains among poor populations were faster in lower-middle-income and upper-middle-income countries than in low-income countries. Globally, national level increases in CCI were 17·5% faster than they would have been without the contribution of the two poorest quintiles. Coverage increased more rapidly annually in rural (0·93 percent points) than urban (0·52 percent points) areas.National coverage gains were accelerated by important increases among poor and rural mothers and children. Despite progress, important inequalities persist, and need to be addressed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.UNICEF, Wellcome Trust.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Guatemala has the highest prevalence of stunting among under-five children in Latin America. We aimed to compare indigenous and non-indigenous under-five child populations in relation to stunting, as well as to explore the intersectionality of ethnicity by wealth and by place of residence. We also studied how the ethnic inequalities changed over time, using five ENSMI surveys from 1995 to 2014. METHODS:Five national health surveys carried out between 1995 and 2014 were analysed. World Health Organization (WHO) 2006 growth standards were used to calculate stunting prevalence. Self-reported ethnicity was classified as indigenous or nonindigenous. Wealth was measured through an asset-based index, and households were classified into quintiles (for analyses of the whole populations) or tertiles (for analyses of intersectionality with ethnicity). Area of residence was recorded as urban or rural, according to country definition. RESULTS:Overall stunting prevalence declined by 9.8 percentage points (95% CI -16.4 to - 3.3) from 1995 to 2014. The slope index for absolute inequalities in stunting - which corresponds to the difference in prevalence between the wealthiest and poorest households - ranged from - 52.9 to - 60.4 percentage points, with no significant change over time. Children in rural areas were consistently more stunted than those in urban areas, but rural indigenous children were significantly worse than any other group. Indigenous children in the poorest tertile of family wealth consistently presented the highest stunting prevalence, compared to all other groups. Time trends in stunting were assessed through the average annual absolute change (AAAC). The fastest decline was observed among indigenous children from the middle wealth tertile (AAAC = - 1.21 percentage points per year (pp/y); 95% CI - 1.45 to - 0.96) followed by nonindigenous children also from the middle tertile (AAAC = - 0.80 pp./y; 95% CI - 0.99 to - 0.60). Stunting prevalence in the two poorest tertiles of indigenous children in 2015 was similar to what nonindigenous children presented in 1995, 20 years earlier. In the wealthiest tertile, indigenous children were far worse off than nonindigenous children 20 years earlier. CONCLUSIONS:In terms of stunting prevalence, poor and rural indigenous children are twenty years behind nonindigenous children with similar characteristics.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Understanding the burden and contextual risk factors is critical for developing appropriate interventions to control undernutrition. METHODS:This study used data from the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey to estimate the prevalence of underweight, stunting, and wasting. Single multiple logistic regressions were used to identify the factors associated with underweight, wasting and stunting. The study involved 2720 children aged 0-59 months old and mother pairs. All analyses were done in STATA/IC version 15.0. Statistical significance was set at p<0.05. RESULTS:The prevalence of underweight, wasting and stunting were 10.4%, 5.3%, and 18.4% respectively. The age of the child was associated with underweight, wasting and stunting, whereas the sex was associated with wasting and stunting. Normal or overweight/obese maternal body mass index category, high woman's autonomy and middle-class wealth index were associated with a lower odds of undernutrition. The factors that were associated with a higher odds of child undernutrition included: low birth weight (<2.5 kg), minimum dietary diversity score (MDDS), a higher (?4th) birth order number of child, primary educational level of husband/partner and domicile in the northern region of Ghana. CONCLUSION:There is still a high burden of child undernutrition in Ghana. The age, sex, birth weight, birth order and the MDDS of the child were the immediate factors associated with child undernutrition. The intermediate factors that were associated with child undernutrition were mainly maternal related factors and included maternal nutritional status and autonomy. Distal level factors which were associated with a higher odds of child undernutrition were the wealth index of the household, paternal educational status and region of residence. We recommend that interventions and policies for undernutrition should address socioeconomic inequalities at the community level while factoring in women empowerment programmes.
Project description:Global stunting prevalence has been nearly halved between 1990 and 2016, but it remains unclear whether this decline has benefited poor and rural populations within low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).We assessed time trends in stunting among children <5 y of age (under-5) according to household wealth and place of residence in 67 LMICs.Stunting prevalence was analyzed in 217 nationally representative Demographic and Health Surveys and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys from 67 countries with ?2 surveys between 1993 and 2014. National estimates were stratified by wealth and area of residence, comparing the poorest 40% with the wealthiest 60%, and those residing in urban and rural areas. Time trends were calculated for LMICs by using multilevel regression models weighted by under-5 population, with stratification by wealth and by residence. Trends in absolute (slope index of inequality; SII) and relative (concentration index; CIX) inequalities were calculated.Mean prevalences in 1993 were 53.7% in low-income and 48.2% in middle-income countries, with annual average linear declines of 0.76 and 0.72 percentage points (pp), respectively. Although similar slopes of declines were observed for the poorest 40% and wealthiest 60% groups in all countries (0.78 and 0.74 pp, respectively), absolute and relative inequalities increased over time in low-income countries (SII increased from -19.3% in 1993 to -23.7% in 2014 and CIX increased from -6.2% to -10.8% in the same period). In middle-income countries, socioeconomic inequalities remained stable. Overall, stunting prevalence decreased more rapidly among rural than for urban children (0.78 and 0.55 pp, respectively).The prevalence of stunting is decreasing. Poor-rich gaps are stable in middle-income countries and slightly increasing in low-income countries. Rural-urban inequalities are decreasing over time.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Inequalities in progress towards achievement of Millennium Development Goal four (MDG-4) reflect unequal access to child health services. OBJECTIVE:To examine the time trends, socio-economic and regional inequalities of under-five mortality rate (U5MR) in Nepal. METHODS:We analyzed the data from complete birth histories of four Nepal Demographic and Health Surveys (NDHS) done in the years 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011. For each livebirth, we computed survival period from birth until either fifth birthday or the survey date. Using direct methods i.e. by constructing life tables, we calculated yearly U5MRs from 1991 to 2010. Projections were made for the years 2011 to 2015. For each NDHS, U5MRs were calculated according to child's sex, mother's education, household wealth index, rural/urban residence, development regions and ecological zones. Inequalities were calculated as rate difference, rate ratio, population attributable risk and hazard ratio. RESULTS:Yearly U5MR (per 1000 live births) had decreased from 157.3 (95% CIs 178.0-138.9) in 1991 to 43.2 (95% CIs 59.1-31.5) in 2010 i.e. 114.1 reduction in absolute risk. Projected U5MR for the year 2015 was 54.33. U5MRs had decreased in absolute terms in all sub groups but relative inequalities had reduced for gender and rural/urban residence only. Wide inequalities existed by wealth and education and increased between 1996 and 2011. For lowest wealth quintile (as compared to highest quintile) hazard ratio (HR) increased from 1.37 (95% CIs 1.27, 1.49) to 2.54 ( 95% CIs 2.25, 2.86) and for mothers having no education (as compared to higher education) HR increased from 2.55 (95% CIs 1.95, 3.33) to 3.75 (95% CIs 3.17, 4.44). Changes in regional inequities were marginal and irregular. CONCLUSIONS:Nepal is most likely to achieve MDG-4 but eductional and wealth inequalities may widen further. National health policies should address to reduce inequalities in U5MR through 'inclusive policies'.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Existing studies in Tanzania, based mostly on rural samples, have primarily focused on individual behaviors responsible for the lower utilization of maternal health care. Relatively less attention had been paid to inequalities in structural circumstances that contribute to reduced utilization of maternal health care. More importantly, scholarship concerning the impact of the rural-urban divide on socioeconomic disparities in the utilization of maternal health care is virtually nonexistent in Tanzania. METHODS:Drawing from the Demographic Health Survey (2015-2016) conducted in Tanzania, our study includes a total of 3,595 women aged between 15-49 years old, who had given birth in five years before the month of the interview and living in both rural and urban Tanzania. The maternal health care utilization was assessed by four variables (i.e., antenatal care, skilled delivery assistance, the before and after discharging postnatal care). The independent variables were wealth, education, residence, parity, occupation, age, and the head of the household's sex. We used bivariate statistics and logistic regression to examine the rural-urban differences in the influence of education and wealth on maternal health care utilization. RESULTS:Significantly lower use of maternal health care in rural than urban areas demonstrated a stark rural-urban divide in Tanzania. We documented socioeconomic inequalities in maternal health care utilization in the form of lower odds of the utilization of such services among women with lower levels of education and household wealth. The educational inequalities in the utilization of skilled delivery assistance (or = 0.37, 95% CI: 0.16, 0.86; p = 0.021) and (before discharge) postnatal care (or = 0.60, 95% CI: 0.38, 0.95; p = 0.030) were significantly wider in rural than urban areas. The differences in the odds of the utilization of skilled delivery assistance between women in poorer wealth quintile and women in richer household wealth quintile were also significantly wider in rural areas than in urban areas. However, the statistically significant rural-urban divides in the impacts of socioeconomic status on antenatal care and (after discharge) postnatal care were not observed. CONCLUSION:This study establishes the need for consideration of the rural-urban context in the formulation of policies to reduce disparities in maternal health care utilization in Tanzania.
Project description:<b>Background:</b>Peru reduced its under-5 child stunting prevalence notably from 31.3% in 2000 to 13.1% in 2016.<br><br><b>Objectives:</b>We aimed to study factors and key enablers of child stunting reduction in Peru from 2000-2016.<br><br><b>Methods:</b>Demographic and Health Surveys were used to conduct descriptive analyses [height-for-age z scores (HAZ) means and distributions, equity analysis, predicted child growth curves through polynomial regressions] and advanced regression analyses. An ecological (at department level) multilevel regression analysis was conducted to identify the major predictors of stunting decline from 2000 to 2016, and Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition was conducted to identify the relative contribution of each factor to child HAZ change. A systematic literature review, policy and program analysis, and interviews with relevant stakeholders were conducted to understand key drivers of stunting decline in Peru.<br><br><b>Results:</b>The distribution of HAZ scores showed a slight rightward shift from 2000 to 2007/2008, and a greater shift from 2007/2008 to 2016. Stunting reduction was higher in the lowest wealth quintile, in rural areas, and among children with the least educated mothers. Decomposing predicted changes showed that the most important factors were increased maternal BMI and maternal height, improved maternal and newborn health care, increased parental education, migration to urban areas, and reduced fertility. Key drivers included the advocacy role of civil society and political leadership around poverty and stunting reduction since the early 2000s. Key enablers included the economic growth and the consolidation of democracy since the early 2000s, and the acknowledgement that stunting reduction needs much more than food supplementation.<br><br><b>Conclusions:</b>Peru reduced child stunting owing to improved socioeconomic determinants, sustained implementation of out-of-health-sector and within-health-sector changes, and implementation of health interventions. These efforts were driven through a multisectoral approach, strong civil society advocacy, and keen political leadership. Peru's experience offers useful lessons on how to tackle the problem of stunting under differing scenarios, with the participation of multiple sectors.
Project description:Despite some progress, stunting prevalence in many African countries including Ethiopia remains unacceptably high. This study aimed to identify key interventions that, if implemented at scale through the health sector in Ethiopia, can avert the highest number of stunting cases. Using the Lives Saved Tool (LiST), the number of stunting cases that would have been averted, if proven interventions were scaled-up to the highest wealth quintile or to an aspirational 90% coverage was considered. Stunting prevalence was highest among rural residents and households in the poorest wealth quintile. Coverage of breastfeeding promotion and vitamin A supplementation were relatively high (>50%), whereas interventions targeting women were limited in number and had particularly low coverage. Universal coverage (90%) of optimal complementary feeding, preventive zinc supplementation, and water connection in homes could have each averted 380,000-500,000 cases of stunting. Increasing coverage of water connection to homes to the level of the wealthiest quintile could have averted an estimated 168,000 cases of stunting. Increasing coverage of optimal complementary feeding, preventive zinc supplementation, and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services is critical. Innovations in program delivery and health systems governance are required to effectively reach women, remote areas, rural communities, and the poorest proportion of the population to accelerate stunting reduction.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Women are at risk of undernutrition due to biological, socio-economic, and cultural factors. Undernourished women have higher risk of poor obstetric outcomes. We aimed to determine the prevalence and factors associated with undernutrition among women of reproductive age in Uganda. METHODS:We used Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) 2016 data of 4640 women aged 20 to 49?years excluding pregnant and post-menopausal women. Multistage stratified sampling was used to select study participants and data were collected using validated questionnaires. We used multivariable logistic regression to determine factors associated with underweight and stunting among 20 to 49?year old women in Uganda. RESULTS:The prevalence of underweight and stunting were 6.9% (318/4640) and 1.3% (58/4640) respectively. Women who belonged to the poorest wealth quintile (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR)?3.60, 95% CI 1.85-7.00) were more likely to be underweight compared to those who belonged to the richest wealth quintile. Women residing in rural areas were less likely to be underweight (AOR?0.63, 95%CI 0.41-0.96) compared to women in urban areas. Women in Western (AOR?0.30, 95% CI 0.20-0.44), Eastern (AOR?0.42, 95% CI 0.28-0.63) and Central regions (AOR?0.42, 95% CI 0.25-0.72) were less likely to be underweight compared to those in the Northern region. Women belonging to Central (AOR 4.37, 95% CI 1.44-13.20) and Western (AOR 4.77, 95% CI 1.28-17.78) regions were more likely to be stunted compared to those in the Northern region. CONCLUSION:The present study showed wealth index, place of residence and region to be associated with undernutrition among 20 to 49?year old women in Uganda. There is need to address socio-economic determinants of maternal undernutrition mainly poverty and regional inequalities.
Project description:Background:Stunting is one of the most commonly used indicators of child nutrition and health status. Despite significant efforts by the government and external development partners to improve maternal and child health and nutrition, stunting is consistently high in Nepal. This paper assesses the potential determinants of stunting among children aged 0-59?months using the last three successive Nepal Demographic and Health Surveys (NDHS). Methods:We used three nationally representative cross-sectional household surveys, known as the NDHS- 2006, 2011 and 2016. Logistic regression was used to identify the potential determinants of stunting. The sub sample for this study includes n?=?5083 in 2006, n?=?2485 in 2011, and n?=?2421 in 2016. Results:Rates of stunting decreased from nearly 50% in 2006 to about 36% in 2016. The prevalence of stunting was higher among children from larger families (51.0% in 2006, 41.1% in 2011, 38.7% in 2016), poor wealth quintile households (61.2% in 2006, 56.0% in 2011, 49.2% in 2016), and severely food insecure households (49.0% in 2011, 46.5% in 2016). For child stunting, the common determinants in all three surveys included: being from the highest equity quintile (OR: 0.58 in 2006, 0.26 in 2011, 0.28 in 2016), being older (OR: 2.24 in 2006, 2.58 in 2011, 1.58 in 2016), being below average size at time of birth (OR: 1.64 in 2006, 1.55 in 2011, 1.60 in 2016), and being affected by anemia (OR: 1.32 in 2006, 1.59 in 2011, 1.40 in 2016). Conclusions:This study found that household wealth status, age of child, size of child at time of birth, and child anemia comprised the common determinants of stunting in all three surveys in Nepal. Study findings underscore the need for effective implementation of evidence-based nutrition interventions in health and non-health sectors to reduce the high rates of child stunting in Nepal.