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Regional Disparities in the Magnitude of Orphanhood in Nepal
Authors: Guragain, A. M., Choonpradub, C., Paudel, B. K., and Lim, A.
Source: Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, 23 (3): 711 - 724
Topic(s): Orphanhood
Country: Asia
Published: AUG 2015
Abstract: Orphanhood is a vast problem in the world with impacts on the social and public health sectors. Evidence-based information on the geographic distribution of orphans is an important information gap in Nepal. The present study aimed to identify the proportion of children who are orphans and their geographic distribution in Nepal. This study used the population subset of 0-17 year olds from the nationally representative Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) 2011, Nepal. The Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) method was used while fitting a logistic regression model to adjust for the correlation among children in the same household. The result was adjusted for age and sex of a child and wealth index of the household. The analysis was further stratified by age groups. Of the total 21,484 children, 1,142 (5.3%) were orphaned. Among the 13 sub-regions, Western Mountain and Eastern Terai had higher and Central Hill had lower proportions of orphan children than the overall mean. However, the results differed in age-stratified analysis. The study also explored possible factors related to orphanhood: poverty and famine, conflict and displacement, a high adult mortality related to HIV/AIDS and maternal causes. In conclusion, the distribution of orphan children in households was found to vary by subregions. Therefore, orphan welfare programmes should be focused on those regions with higher proportions of orphans. Keywords: Orphans, poverty, disparities, Generalized Estimating Equation (GEE), Nepal