Background: Globally, under-five mortality has declined significantly, but still remains a critical public health problem in sub-Saharan African countries such as Benin. Yet, there is no empirical information in the country using a nationally representative data to explain this phenomenon. The aim of this study was to examine how proximate and socio-economic factors are associated with mortality in under-five children in Benin.
Methods: We analysed data of 5977 under-five children using the 2017 to 2018 Benin Demographic and Health Surveys. Multivariable hierarchical logistic regression modelling technique was applied to investigate the factors associated with under-five mortality. The fit of the models were assessed using variance inflation factor and Pseudo R 2. Results were reported as adjusted odds ratios (aORs). All comparisons were considered to be statistically significant at p<0.05.
Results: The study revealed an under-five mortality rate of 96 deaths per 1000 live births in Benin. Regarding the socio-economic determinants, the risk of death was found to be higher in children born in the Plateau region (aOR=3.05; 95% CI: 1.29 to 7.64), in rural areas (aOR=1.45; 95% CI: 1.07 to 1.98) and children with ≥4 birth rank and >2 years of birth interval (aOR=1.52; 95% CI: 1.07 to 2.17). Among the proximate determinants, we found the probability of death to be higher in children whose mothers had no postnatal check-up (PNC) visits after delivery (aOR=1.79; 95% CI: 1.22 to 2.63), but there was no significant association between individual-level/household-level factors and under-five mortality.
Conclusion: This study has established that socio-economic and proximate factors are important determinants of under-five mortality in Benin. Our findings have shown the need to implement both socio-economic and proximate interventions, particularly those related to PNC visits when planning on under-five mortality. To achieve this, a comprehensive, long-term public health interventions, which consider the disparity in the access and utilisation of healthcare services in Benin are key.
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- child health
- health policy
- public health