Dynamic Role of Mother Empowerment in reducing malnutrition among children: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa
Keywords:Malnutrition, Demographic Health Survey, Binary Logistic Regression
In Sub-Saharan Africa, two out of five children are malnourished and malnutrition causes almost half of the child deaths (45%). Mothers are the primary caretaker of children's health, but unfortunately, most of the mothers, are not empowered in Sub-Saharan Africa. This study examined the role of mother’s empowerment in the reduction of malnutrition (stunting, wasting, and underweight) among children under five years of age in twenty-two Sub-Saharan African countries. Cross-sectional data from the most recent Demographic Health Survey (2011-2016) of twenty-two countries are used to analyze the relationship between mother's empowerment and child malnutrition through the binary logistic regression analysis. Results show that the countries with low empowerment, the prevalence of malnutrition is high. Mother empowerment is found to be a statistically significant predictor in reducing malnutrition. Mother’s education, body mass index, and age at first birth proved to be a strong predictor for reducing malnutrition. Household wealth index and household locality also have a statistically significant impact on the reduction of malnutrition. At the household level, malnutrition of children can be minimized by empowering boosting their self-esteem, self-confidence, economic resources, social resources, awareness and decision making.
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