Determinants of Child Malnutrition in Tanzania: a Quantile Regression Approach

Reducing child malnutrition is one of the most important development goals. This study adopts a quantile regression approach to estimate the socioeconomic determinants of a child’s nutritional status and to explore for whom policy intervention matter the most. Using the data of children under five in Tanzania, the effects of several variables on child’s height-for-age z-score (HAZ) and hemoglobin level are examined. HAZ is influenced by age, sex, preceding birth interval, mother’s height and body-mass-index (BMI), and wealth, among others. The results from quantile regressions suggest that the intervention to improve mother’s education, especially higher than primary school, is effective to reduce the child’s malnutrition at the lower end of distribution. The interventions to upgrade drinking water or toilet facilities may not be sufficient in raising malnourished child’s nutritional status. Hemoglobin level is influenced by age, sex, mother’s hemoglobin level, parental education, and household size, among others. Conditional distributions make little difference with regard to hemoglobin level. Since common interventions of deworming or sleeping under the net are not significant, other interventions such as nutritional ones might be more effective for reducing anemia. 3 Large effects of mother’s nutritional status on child’s nutritional status imply that malnutrition is handed down from one generation to another, which could keep children trapped in the cycle of poverty. It would be effective to carefully integrate applicable interventions according to the objective and target population in order for wellbeing of individuals and for the development of the country.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-27

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