Family planning and child mortality rate decline in sub-Saharan Africa: an ecological longitudinal study at the sub-national level

Adébiyi Germain Boco, McGill University
Simona Bignami, Université de Montréal

In this paper we drawn the data from 51 surveys on 103 provinces (or governorate, region or larger geopolitical zone within a country) in 17 sub-Saharan African countries which have conducted three or more comparable Demographic and Health Surveys between 1991 and 2009 to determine the extent to which family planning prevalence at the sub-national level affect under-five mortality rates (U5MR). A multivariate regression analysis of panel data was carried out with a fixed effects specification to correct for serial correlation of repeated measures and to control for time invariant unobserved or unobservable province characteristics. From 1991 to 2009 U5MR declined from 171.5 to 130.8 per 1000 live births. During the same period average modern contraceptive prevalence rate increased from 12.8% to 23.3%. The analyses also show that a 1% increase in province’s contraceptive prevalence rate was associated with about 6‰ decrease in U5MR, net of other factors.

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Presented in Session 28: Social benefits of investments in family planning