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Does education offset the effect of maternal disadvantage on childhood anaemia in Tanzania? Evidence from a nationally representative cross-sectional study
Authors: Olaide O. Ojoniyi, Clifford O. Odimegwu, Emmanuel O. Olamijuwon, and Joshua O. Akinyemi
Source: BMC Pediatrics, 19(1): 1-10; DOI: 10.1186/s12887-019-1465-z
Topic(s): Anemia
Child health
Country: Africa
Published: DEC 2019
Abstract: Background Despite being preventable, anaemia is a major public health problem that affects a sizable number of children under-five years globally and in Tanzania. This study examined the maternal factors associated with the risk of anaemia among under-five children in Tanzania. We also assessed whether higher maternal education could reduce the risks of anaemia among children of women with poor socio-economic status. Methods Data was drawn from the 2015–16 Tanzania demographic and health survey and malaria indicator survey for 7916 children under five years. Adjusted odds ratios were estimated by fitting a proportional odds model to examine the maternal risk factors of anaemia. Stratified analysis was done to examine how the relationship differed across maternal educational levels. Results The findings revealed that maternal disadvantage evident in young motherhood [AOR:1.43, 95%CI:1.16–1.75], no formal education [AOR:1.53, 95%CI:1.25–1.89], unemployment [AOR:1.31, 95%CI:1.15–1.49], poorest household wealth [AOR:1.50, 95%CI:1.17–1.91], and non-access to health insurance [AOR:1.26, 95%CI: 1.03–1.53] were risk factors of anaemia among children in the sample. Sub-group analysis by maternal education showed that the risks were not evident when the mother has secondary or higher education. However, having an unmarried mother was associated with about four-times higher risk of anaemia if the mother is uneducated [AOR:4.04, 95%CI:1.98–8.24] compared with if the mother is currently in union. Conclusion Findings from this study show that a secondary or higher maternal education may help reduce the socio-economic risk factors of anaemia among children under-5 years in Tanzania.