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Inequality in under-five mortality in Nigeria: do ethnic values and cultural practices matter?

Sunday Adedini, University of the Witwatersrand
Clifford O. Odimegwu, University of the Witwatersrand
Eunice N.S. Imasiku, University of Zambia
Dorothy Ononokpono, University of Uyo, Nigeria
Godwin G. A. Timiun, University of the Witwatersrand

There are very huge regional disparities in under-five mortality rate in Nigeria. Some geopolitical zones have as high as 222 deaths per 1000 live births while the rate is as low as 89 per 1000 live births in some other regions within the country. Nigeria is culturally diverse as there are more than 250 ethnic groups in the country. Thus, various ethnic groups have different socio-cultural values and practices that influence child mortality; either directly or indirectly. Drawing on 2008 Demographic and Health Survey, the study established a significant link between ethnicity and under-five mortality. Besides, cultural norms such as fertility preference and parity showed statistical significance for increased risk of under-five mortality. The findings of the study stressed the implications of ethnic belief systems as well as cultural practices which negatively impact on child health outcomes.

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Presented in Session 63: Inequalities in child health and mortality