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Inequalities in infant malnutrition between rural and urban areas in Cameroon: a Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition
Authors: Nguenda Anya Saturnin Bertrand
Source: African Journal of Economic Review , 6(2): 214
Topic(s): Child health
Children under five
Health equity
Rural-urban differentials
Country: Africa
Published: JUL 2018
Abstract: Child malnutrition is an obstacle to human capital and a deprivation of capabilities. In Cameroon, malnutrition is a public health problem and rural areas suffer more from child malnutrition than the urban areas. The objective of this study is to identify the factors that explain inequality in the distribution of child malnutrition between urban and rural areas in Cameroon. The methodology used is based on the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition. The data used is from the Demographic and Health Survey organized in 2011 by the National Institute of Statistics. Differences in endowments of children and mothers explain 75% of the weight difference of children under 5 years between urban and rural areas. We specifically find that a paid job for the mother reduces by approximately 2.56 % the differences in the weights of children of less than 5 years between urban and rural areas. Also, the education of the mother reduces the difference in weight between the rural and urban children by 2.44% for primary education, 5.48% for secondary education and 3.54% for higher education. Lastly, the difference in weight between the children of rural and urban areas increases when the households are poor. The reduction inequalities of child malnutrition between urban and rural areas in Cameroon thus passes through the improvement of the education of the mother, the strengthening of the economic capacities of women in rural areas and the improvement of the living conditions of rural households. Keywords: infant malnutrition, inequality, Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition