The objective of this study is to investigate the trends in relative contribution each selected factor makes to the chance of a child’s death over time in South Africa for children born 5 years preceding 1997 and 5 years preceding 2002. Attention was paid to the role played by socio-economic factors, biological and maternal factors, environmental factors, nutrient deficiency factors and health seeking behaviour factors. The study investigates whether the association of a specific factor to under-5 mortality persist over time. Data from the 1997 October Household Survey and the 2002 General Household Survey were used. Births that occurred in the five years preceding each survey were analysed in relation to the survival of the child and socio-economic factors, biological and maternal factors, environmental factors, nutrient deficiency factors and health seeking behaviour factors. Logistic regression was used to determine the relative contribution of each factor for the two periods under review. Under-5 mortality was significantly associated with eight factors during 1993-1997 period namely; mother’s education, mother’s place of residence, sex, birth order, birth interval, mother’s age at the time of delivery of the subject child, nutrient deficiency and place of delivery. However, during the 1998-2002 period only five factors were significantly associated with under-5 mortality. These were mother’s education, sex, birth interval, type of dwelling and place of delivery. This suggests changing patterns in factors associated with under-5 mortality between the two birth cohorts: 1993-1997 and the 1998-2002 birth cohorts.
Dissertation (MSocSci)--University of Pretoria, 2010.