The effects of high risk fertility behavior on child survival in Uganda.
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Five hundred new born infants die every hour and 12, 000 babies a day worldwide. In Uganda the infant mortality rate is 76 per 1000 live births (PRB 2009). Infant mortality differentials exist in relation to at least three factors related to fertility: birth order, maternal age, and the length of the interval between successive births. This study therefore thought to investigate the effects of the above three variables on child survival in Uganda. The source of data for the study was the 2006 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) which was carried out by UBOS in collaboration with Macro international. Data for 8369 children was analyzed using stata version 10. The analysis was done using frequency distributions, Pearson chi-square test and the binary logistic regression . The study findings showed that mother’s age at first birth, birth intervals and parity had significant effect on child survival. Children born to mothers whose age at first birth was less than 17 years had 97 percent less odds of survival compared to those children whose mothers’ age at first birth was 18- 25 years. Children with preceding birth intervals less than 23 months had 81 percent less odds of survival compared to children whose preceding birth intervals were 24-38 months. The findings further reveal that children with succeeding birth intervals less than 23 months had 92 percent less odds of survival compared to those children whose succeeding birth intervals were 24-38 months. Children whose mothers had parity greater than seven had 26 percent less odds of survival compared to children whose mothers’ parity was 1-3. In general postponement of the female age at first birth to at least 18 years with the view to delay the onset of child bearing, proper spacing of births with intervals of at least 24 months and limiting the number of children to 3 would have noticeable effect on improving on child survival in Uganda.