Exploring the socio-economic determinants of educational inequalities in diarrhoea among under-five children in low- and middle-income countries: a Fairlie decomposition analysis

SOURCE: Archives of Public Health
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
TITLE AUTHOR(S): A.F.Fagbamigbe, O.G.Adebola, N.Dukhi, O.S.Fagbamigbe, O.A.Uthman
DEPARTMENT: Public Health, Societies and Belonging (HSC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 12099
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/16376
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11910/16376

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What explains the underlying causes of educational inequalities in diarrhoea among under-five children in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) is poorly exploited, operationalized, studied and understood. This paper aims to assess the magnitude of educational-related inequalities in the development of diarrhoea and decompose risk factors that contribute to these inequalities among under-five children (U5C) in LMIC. Secondary data of 796,150 U5C from 63,378 neighbourhoods in 57 LMIC was pooled from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) conducted between 2010 and 2019. The main determinate variable in this decomposition study was mothers' literacy levels. Descriptive and inferential statistics comprising of bivariable analysis and binary logistic multivariable Fairlie decomposition techniques were employed at p = 0.05. Of the 57 countries, we found a statistically significant pro-illiterate odds ratio in 6 countries, 14 showed pro-literate inequality while the remaining 37 countries had no statistically significant educational-related inequality. The countries with pro-illiterate inequalities are Burundi (OR = 1.11; 95% CI: 1.01-1.21), Cameroon (OR = 1.84; 95% CI: 1.66-2.05), Egypt (OR = 1.26; 95% CI: 1.12-1.43), Ghana (OR = 1.24; 95% CI: 1.06-1.47), Nigeria (OR = 1.80; 95% CI: 1.68-1.93), and Togo (OR = 1.21; 95% CI: 1.06-1.38). Although there are variations in factors that contribute to proilliterate inequality across the 6 countries, the overall largest contributors to the inequality are household wealth status, maternal age, neighbourhood SES, birth order, toilet type, birth interval and place of residence. The widest pro-illiterate risk difference (RD) was in Cameroon (118.44/1000) while the pro-literate risk difference was widest in Albania ( 61.90/1000). The study identified educational inequalities in the prevalence of diarrhoea in children with wide variations in magnitude and contributions of the risk factors to pro-illiterate inequalities. This suggests that diarrhoea prevention strategies is a must in the pro-illiterate inequality countries and should be extended to educated mothers as well, especially in the pro-educated countries. There is a need for further studies to examine the contributions of structural and compositional factors associated with pro-educated inequalities in the prevalence of diarrhoea among U5C in LMIC.