International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Differentials in Infant and Child Mortality Rates in Nigeria: Evidence from the Six Geopolitical Zones
Aigbe, Gladys O.; Zannu, Ajibola E.

Infant and child mortality rates are important indicators of the health status of a country. This paper presents the spatial analysis of infant and child mortality rates among the geopolitical zones of Nigeria with the objective of highlighting the unevenness in childhood mortality rates among the regions. Data for the study was obtained from the Nigeria Demographic and Health Surveys of 1999 and 2008. The findings of the research show that there were significant spatial differences in infant mortality rates and under-five mortality rates among the country’s geo-political regions in 1999 and 2008 and by rural urban residence. Under-five mortality rates showed significant clustering among the geopolitical zones with the Northeast depicting clusters of highest under-five mortality rates while the Southwest had the lowest under-five mortality rate clusters. The Moran’s I values were significant at p<0.01 confirming the spatial clustering of under-five mortality rates. The infant mortality rate of 75 deaths per 1,000 live births and the under-five mortality rate of 157 deaths per 1,000 live births in Nigeria in 2008 are considered high compared to those of developed countries and to the expected two-third reductions in the rates by 2015. The paper recommends improvement in public health services, enhanced accessibility to medical services, and the education of mothers on the importance of healthy child care practices as panacea for the reduction of childhood mortality rates to acceptable levels.

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