The effect of birth spacing on child survival in Kassena-Nankana Districts of Northern Ghana

Paul Welaga, Navrongo Health Research Centre
Cornelius Y. Debpuur, Navrongo Health Research Centre
Timothy Awine, Navrongo Health Research Centre

Evidence on the relationship between birth-spacing and child survival is still unclear about which birth interval best enhances child survival. We examined the effect of preceding and succeeding birth interval on neonatal, infant and under-five mortality in a rural district in northern Ghana using longitudinal data. Children born between January 2002 and December 2008 registered in the Navrongo Demographic Surveillance System were included in the analysis. Preceding and succeeding birth intervals were categorized into four; <24 months, 24-35 months, 36-59 months and 60+ months. Cox models were fitted to estimate adjusted hazard of death. Preliminary results indicate that children with succeeding birth interval of 36-59 months have better survival than 24-35 months among neonatal, infant and under five children. Preceding birth interval was not a significant predictor of mortality among neonates and infants. However, short birth intervals could be a consequence rather than cause of child mortality.

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Presented in Session 64: Consequences of fertility on child health and schooling