Factors associated with childhood mortality among minority groups in Uganda
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The main objective of the study was to assess the factors associated with childhood mortality among minority groups in Uganda. It was based on the fact that childhood mortality has been on a steady decline for the last decades in Sub- Saharan Africa (SSA) in general and Uganda in particular due to improvement in nutritional and health care. However, to the minority groups it is not the case because of their unique position in society such as their natural love for nature and their areas of habitation. The study was guided by specific objectives; namely, to examine the contribution of socio-economic factors to childhood mortality, to establish the relationship between demographic factors and childhood mortality and to establish the relationship between environmental factors and childhood mortality among minority groups in Uganda. The research was based on the 2002 census data and it focused on childhood mortality (under five) among minority groups in Uganda. The variables considered in this study were: age of the mother, marital status, and place of residence, education attainment of parents, occupation, and distance to the health facility, distance to the source of water, source of livelihood, housing conditions (floor, wall and roof materials), toilet facilities and source of drinking water. The study revealed that 71 percent of minority groups have not attained beyond primary level education, over 75 percent of respondents walk over ½ a kilometer to the nearest health facility, 67 percent travel over ½ kilometer distance to the source of water, 75 percent of minority groups survive on subsistence form of livelihood, 80 percent live in the rural setting, housing condition among minority groups is not to the standard since 57 percent of respondents live in grass thatched houses, 80 percent live in houses with rammed earth floor, 73 percent live in mud and pole houses and over 86 percent having low quality or poor toilet facility. At multivariate level, housing conditions (wall material), distance to the water source, toilet facility, and marital status were variables that emerged to have a greater influence on childhood mortality among minority groups. Therefore, for further control of childhood mortality among minority groups, efforts should be put on massive health education to curtail diseases associated with poor sanitary conditions due to poor toilet facilities and unprotected sources of water, as well as putting in place policies intended to improve their livelihoods and their housing conditions.