Migration and child health inequities in Nigeria: a multilevel analysis of contextual- and individual-level factors

Trop Med Int Health. 2010 Dec;15(12):1464-74. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3156.2010.02643.x. Epub 2010 Oct 19.


Objective: To assess the role of rural-urban migration in the risks of under-five death; to identify possible mechanisms through which migration may influence mortality; and to determine individual- and community-level relationships between migration status and under-five death.

Method: Multilevel Cox regression analysis was used on a nationally representative sample of 6029 children from 2735 mothers aged 15-49 years and nested within 365 communities from the 2003 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey. Hazard ratios with 95% confidence intervals were used to express the measures of association between the characteristics, and intra-class coefficients were used to express the measures of variation.

Results: Children of rural non-migrant mothers had significantly lower risks of under-five death than children of rural-urban migrant mothers. The disruption of family and community ties, low socio-economic position and vulnerability, and the difficulties migrants face in adapting into the new urban environment, may predispose the children of rural-urban migrants to higher mortality.

Conclusion: Our results stress the need for community-level and socio-economic interventions targeted at migrant groups within urban areas to improve their access to health care services, maternal education, as well as the general socio-economic situation of women.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child Welfare / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Delivery of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Developing Countries
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Female
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Population Dynamics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult