Spatio-temporal patterns and determinants of infant mortality in Nigeria

International Social Science Journal (Chinese Edition)

No.2, 2019


Spatio-temporal patterns and determinants of infant mortality in Nigeria (Abstract)


Modupe Alake Ayoade


Infant mortality is a major challenge worldwide and particularly in developing countries like Nigeria that continue to have alarmingly high infant mortality rates. Previous studies have largely focused on investigating risk factors of infant mortality without statistically assessing spatial/geographical patterns of infant mortality over time, particularly across states, which is crucial to evaluating the effectiveness of child interventions and programmes and in identifying high priority areas for future planning. The main aim of this study was therefore to examine and explain the spatio-temporal patterns of infant mortality rates across states in Nigeria using descriptive statistics, Pearson’s bivariate correlation, stepwise regression and spatial auto-correlation measures. Analysis was based on data from Nigeria’s 2003, 2008 and 2013 Demographic and Health Surveys. Descriptive analysis and maps showed infant mortality rates in Nigeria are very high and vary significantly across states over time. Spatial pattern analysis showed statistically significant evidence of spatial autocorrelation over time (p<0.05), which suggest that infant mortality rates in individual states are significantly related to mortality rates in contiguous states in Nigeria. Statistical analysis identified breastfeeding, antenatal care, birth interval and poverty as the most important factors responsible for the spatial pattern of infant mortality rates in Nigeria over time.