Socio Economic Factors of Early Childhood Mortality in Ethiopia : Evidence from Demographic and Health Survey

The rates of childhood mortality are important summary indicators of social development, quality of life, overall health, maternal health and welfare. Childhood deaths are primarily caused by preventable and communicable diseases and poor coverage of health, especially in the case of underdeveloped countries. This implies the socioeconomic nature of the issue besides its intrinsic health nature. The socioeconomic factors causing childhood mortality in Ethiopia is identified in this study. The factors are based on the Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey conducted in 2005. Identifying the important factors will help in policy formulation and intervention designing, should the country meet reduction of the infant and child mortality rates to the one set by the Millennium Development Goals. A probit model is employed in this study to identify these socioeconomic factors and finds maternal education, maternal age at first birth, age of the child and size of the household to significantly and negatively affect child mortality. On the other hand, twin births and male children are found to have a higher relative chance of dying before seeing their fifth birthday. Based on the findings, the study suggests some recommendation for designing intervention and policy formulations.