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Using extended concentration and achievement indices to study socioeconomic inequality in chronic childhood malnutrition: the case of Nigeria.
Authors: Uthman OA.
Source: International Journal for Equity in Health, 2009; 8:22.
Topic(s): Child health
Country: Africa
Published: JUL 2009
Abstract: Objectives To assess and quantify the magnitude of inequalities in under-five child malnutrition, particularly those ascribable to socio-economic status Methods Data on 4187 under-five children were derived from the Nigeria 2003 Demographic and Health Survey. Household asset index was used as the main indicator of socio-economic status. Socio-economic inequality in chronic childhood malnutrition was measured using the "extended" illness concentration and achievement indices. Results There are considerable pro-rich inequalities in the distribution of stunting. South-east and south-west regions had low average levels of childhood malnutrition, but the inequalities between the poor and the better-off were very large. By contrast, North-east and North-west had fairly small gaps between the poor and the better-off on childhood malnutrition, but the average values of the childhood malnutrition was extremely high. Conclusion There are significant differences in under-five child malnutrition that favour the better-off of society as a whole and all geopolitical regions. Like other studies have reported, reliance on global averages alone can be misleading. Thus there is a need for evaluating policies not only in terms of improvements in averages, but also improvements in distribution.