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Citation Information

Type Working Paper - PSC Research Report
Title Safe water, access to health care, and other factors affecting infant and child survival among the African and Coloured populations of South Africa: An analysis based on the 1994 October Household Survey
Volume 1
Issue 472
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2001
Page numbers 0-0
The factors influencing infant and child survival among African and Coloured children in South Africa are investigated using data from the 1994 October Household survey. Data for 10,008 African children and 2,919 Coloured children who were born since the beginning of 1989 are examined. The dependent variable of interest is whether the child was alive at the survey date. Coloured children live in much more favorable conditions than African children: they are likely to have more educated mothers, less likely to live in a rural area, more likely to have been born in a hospital, and likely to have better sources of water and sanitation.

Logistic regression analyses revealed the following. Household socioeconomic characteristics are significant for infant and child death for both the African and Coloured population. When other factors are taken into account, the significance of socioeconomic characteristics of households disappears or is substantially reduced. Distance to a health facility is not important for either group, but medical attendance at the birth is significant for both groups. The environment in which the child lives matters for both African and Coloured children. Among African households, the source of drinking water is the most important factor related to infant and child survival. For Coloured households, almost all of whom have a good source of water, the type of household sanitation is important. This paper is the first step in a larger project that involves analysis of more recent and higher quality data from South Africa.

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