Mohammad Haroon Asadi

Abstract

Children are considered a country’s assets. Child mortality is an important indicator of the overall health situation in a country and one of the most important issues facing developing countries today. In Afghanistan, child mortality is linked to social, socio-economic, demographic, health, cultural and environmental factors. Moreover, child mortality is linked to fertility. The main purpose of this study is to determine the socio-economic factors affecting child mortality in Afghanistan. Balkh province has been selected as a case study. This study is based on primary data which was obtained using a structured questionnaire. Questionnaires were distributed to 250 households in rural and urban areas of Balkh province. The target sample consisted of female members of the targeted households who had given birth to at least one child in the last year. In this study, a binary logistic regression model was employed, using maximum likelihood ratio and the most important variables identified for the purpose of this study. These variables were family-related variables, such as the mother’s age, birth order and type of marriage and socio-economic factors such as the parents’ level of education, economic conditions, living standards and belonging to a specific ethnicity.

The binary logistic model revealed that the family-related factors play a major role in child mortality. However, mixed and sometimes unexpected results were found when assessing the social and economic factors, such as the parents’ level of education and living standards. The latter was measured using proxy variables, such as access to electricity, drinking water or a car. Access to information, belonging to a specific ethnic group and economic conditions of the household were not statistically significant factors affecting child mortality.

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