The Independent Effects of Maternal Education and Household Wealth on Malaria Risk in Children

Siri, J. (2012). The Independent Effects of Maternal Education and Household Wealth on Malaria Risk in Children. IIASA Interim Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: IR-12-014

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Despite evidence that they play similar but independent roles, maternal education and household wealth are usually conflated in studies of the effects of socioeconomic status (SES) on malaria risk. We use Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) and Malaria Indicator Survey (MIS) data from eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa to explore the relationship of malaria parasitemia in children with SES factors, accounting for urban/rural residence and other important covariates. In multilevel logistic regression modeling, completion of six years of maternal schooling was associated with lower odds of infection in children in rural (OR = 0.86) and urban (OR = 0.74) areas, as was a household wealth index at the 40th percentile compared to the lowest percentile (OR_RURAL = 0.68; OR_URBAN = 0.45). These relationships were non-linear with respect to the logit of parasitemia, incorporating significant quadratic terms for both education and wealth. Urban residence was associated with a large reduction in risk (OR = 0.43). Among other covariates, increasing child's age was strongly related to infection, and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet the previous night or living in high-quality housing were each associated with moderate reductions (OR_ITN = 0.80; OR_HOUS = 0.85). Considerable variation in parameter estimates was observed among country-specific models. Future work should clearly distinguish between maternal education and household resources in assessing malaria risk, and policy related to malaria prevention and control should be aware of the potential benefits of supporting the development of human capital.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Interim Report)
Research Programs: World Population (POP)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:48
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:23

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