Have infant and child mortality increased in West Africa? Evaluation of evidence from demographic and health surveys

Stan Becker, Johns Hopkins University
El Daw Suliman, Johns Hopkins University

Recent Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) have shown increases in infant and/or child mortality in Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal. This article examines data from eight countries in West Africa and Cameroun which had multiple DHS surveys during the past 15 years. Data quality checks are done and adjustments are made where deficiencies are found. After adjustments, a significant downward trend is documented for Mali and Niger. In four other countries infant and/or child mortality is higher for the last five-year time period than for the five-year period before the previous survey, but not significantly so. Three of these four countries have HIV prevalence among pregnant women of 5%-12% which could explain the increases.

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Presented in Session 67: The demography of Africa