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Child malnutrition in Democratic Republic of the Congo: how strong is the maternal education effect?

Jacques Emina Be-Ofuriyua, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)

Using data from the 2001 DRC-Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey (MICS), this study assesses the effect of maternal education on child malnutrition in Democratic Republic of the Congo. The sample includes 9820 children born at least 59 months prior to the survey. Analyses are based on chi-square and the Logit Generalized Estimating Equation (GEE) with exchangeable correlation covariance matrix. Findings show that educated mothers are more likely to engage in health-seeking behavior. However the impact of maternal education on child nutritional status is mediated by general conditions (war, household living standard). The effect of maternal education is not significant in the Eastern Congo (Nord-Kivu, Sud-Kivu and Maniema) where there has been war, and among children living in households belonging to the intermediate wealth index. These results highlight the role of social context in understanding the impact of maternal education on child health outcomes.

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Presented in Session 78: Child health, education and nutrition