Assessment of infant mortality rates in Uganda evidences from the Uganda demographic health survey 2016
Nambowa, Racheal Ntulume
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This study uses data from the Uganda Demographic Health Survey (UDHS) with a main objective of investigating the determinants of infant mortality in Uganda. In order to achieve the stated objective, the following hypotheses were used. The higher the maternal education the lower the infant mortality, the place of residence has no influence on infant mortality, mother’s age at first birth has no influence on infant mortality in Uganda. Chi-square test and Binary logistic regression techniques were used to assess the rate and the factors that lead to infant mortality in Uganda. Binary logistic regression was used due to the dichotomous nature of the dependent variable. i.e. a child can be alive or dead. Infant mortality was found to be significantly associated with maternal age, maternal age at first birth both at bivariate and multivariate levels of analysis. However, place of residence, and maternal educational background was found to be insignificantly associated with infant mortality at only the multivariate level of analysis. This could be attributed to the fact that at the bivariate level of analysis, all categories were combined and the resulting effect led to both level of maternal education and place of residence being significant. But at multivariate analysis level, the different categories were analyzed individually to ascertain their true relationship with infant mortality. The study recommends some remedies that could be used to address infant mortality in Uganda and these include; 1. Government policies should specifically be geared at improving maternal education such that mother’s age can be delayed. Maternal education should comprise education programs that are aimed at creating public awareness about health care. 2. Policy makers and implementers should evolve strategies that will provide primary health care (PHC) services to all people in Uganda. 3. Efforts should be geared at intensifying immunization programs so as to eradicate major causes of infant and childhood deaths as well as encourage people to carry out better hygiene practices. 4. Poverty eradication programs should be strengthened in an effort to combat infant and childhood mortality and improve people’s standards of living in Uganda. The study indicates a need for health education campaigns for parents and the community at large in Uganda.