Publications Summary

Document Type
Analytical Studies
Publication Topic(s)
Child Health and Development, Nutrition
Benin, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda
Recommended Citation
Assaf, Shireen, Rukundo Benedict, and Courtney Allen. 2022. Electrification and Refrigeration: Association with Child Nutrition and Vaccination. DHS Analytical Report No. 85. Rockville, Maryland, USA: ICF.
Download Citation
RIS format / Text format / Endnote format
Publication Date
September 2022
Publication ID

There is no printed copy available to order.


Ensuring universal, equitable, and reliable access to electricity is a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for 2030. Although more than a billion people have gained access to electricity since 2010, nearly 760 million still do not have any access and millions more do not have reliable access. Previous research has found positive associations between access to electricity and health including reduced infant mortality and improved quality of and access to care. This study examines the association between electricity access and refrigerator ownership with underweight children under age 5 and children age 12–23 months who did not receive the first DPT vaccine (zero-dose children). The study uses 54 DHS surveys from 15 sub- Sahara African countries. We examine trends in electricity access, refrigerator ownership among those with electricity, underweight children, and zero-dose children. Trend results show improvements in access to electricity, refrigerator ownership, underweight, and zero-dose children in several countries. However, there are countries with high levels of underweight, zero-dose children, and low levels of electricity, and there are large disparities between urban and rural areas. Further analysis shows a significant negative relationship between electricity access and underweight, even after controlling for child, mother, and household variables. There were less significant findings between zero- dose children, electricity, and the refrigeration models. The associations were not consistent over time, were not always found in the most recent survey, and/or were not significant in both the urban and rural areas in each survey. When significant associations were found, the disparities in the outcomes were relatively large between children with/without electricity and a refrigerator in the household. The study highlights the need for expanding electricity access, especially in rural areas, as well as further study to understand the pathways between electricity and child health outcomes.


Browse for Publications by:

Browse for Journal Articles based on DHS data by: