The Effect of Household Characteristics on Child Mortality in Ghana

Michael Ofori Fosu, Ir. Peter Romeo Nyarko


The objective of this study was to establish the relationship between household characteristics and mortality among children under the ages of five in Ghana. Ghana’s under-five mortality rate stands at 82 deaths per 1000 live births and infant mortality rate of about 53 deaths per 1000 which is far above the world’s average in 2006 of 52 deaths per 1000 live births (GSS, MICS 2011). Again, according to (IGME 2012 report) in the 2011 under-five mortality league, Ghana is ranked 34 among 195 countries with child mortality rate of 78 per 1000. (Number 1 being the highest and 195 being the lowest in terms of child mortality). In order to address this problem, the authors used survey data on 4169 women respondents drawn from the 10 administrative regions of Ghana. Brass-type indirect techniques for mortality estimation were employed to establish the mortality rates. In addition, logistic regression analysis examined factors related with child mortality. Of the 1411 women who gave birth during the survey period about (295) 20.9% had given birth who later died. Findings show wide mortality differentials by Mothers’ age, mothers’ educational levels, place of residence, and household size. Breastfeeding, children ever born, material used for floor of the dwellings and region of residence were the four major variables highly associated with child mortality. The study concludes that household structure, source of drinking water and toilet facilities used were not related to child mortality. There is need for adult literacy, secondary and above education for women and sensitization about the effects of large households, exclusive breastfeeding and children ever born. Such studies provide insight into understanding the relationship between various household characteristics and child health outcomes.

Keywords: Household, Characteristics, Child, Mortality, Ghana

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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