Volume 21 - Article 13 | Pages 367–384

Determinants of infant and child mortality in Zimbabwe: Results of multivariate hazard analysis

By Joshua Kembo, Jeroen K Van Ginneken

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Date received:18 Feb 2008
Date published:01 Oct 2009
Word count:9186
Keywords:Cox proportional hazards models, Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), infant and child mortality, under-five mortality, Zimbabwe


This study addresses important issues in infant and child mortality in Zimbabwe. The objective of the paper is to determine the impact of maternal, socioeconomic and sanitation variables on infant and child mortality. Results show that births of order 6+ with a short preceding interval had the highest risk of infant mortality. The infant mortality risk associated with multiple births was 2.08 times higher relative to singleton births (p<0.001). Socioeconomic variables did not have a distinct impact on infant mortality. Determinants of child mortality were different in relative importance from those of infant mortality. This study supports health policy initiatives to stimulate use of family planning methods to increase birth spacing. These and other results are expected to assist policy makers and programme managers in the child health sector to formulate appropriate strategies to improve the situation of children under 5 in Zimbabwe.

Author's Affiliation

Joshua Kembo - University of South Africa, South Africa [Email]
Jeroen K Van Ginneken - Nederlands Interdisciplinair Demografisch Instituut (NIDI), the Netherlands [Email]

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