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Type Journal Article - Urban geography
Title Ethnic residential patterns as predictors of intra-urban child mortality inequality in Accra, Ghana
Volume 27
Issue 6
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2006
Page numbers 526-548
As cities of developing nations absorb an increasing fraction of the world’s population increase, questions have arisen about the potential for emerging inequalities in health within places that are already suffering from inadequate infrastructure. In this paper we explore the pattern of child mortality inequalities (as a proxy for overall health levels) within a large sub-Saharan African city—Accra, Ghana—and then we examine the extent to which existing residential patterns by ethnicity may be predictive of any observed intra-urban inequalities in child mortality. We find that the spatial variability in child mortality in Accra is especially associated with the pattern of residential separation of the Ga from other ethnic groups, with the Ga having higher levels of mortality than other ethnic groups. Being of Ga ethnicity exposes a woman and her children to characteristics of the places in Accra where the Ga live, in which one-room dwellings and poor infrastructure predominate. At the individual level, we find that regardless of where a woman lives, if she is of Ga ethnicity and/or is non-Christian, and if she is not married, her risks of having lost a child are elevated.

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