Childhood mortality and its association with household wealth in rural and semi-urban Burkina Faso

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2014 Oct;108(10):639-47. doi: 10.1093/trstmh/tru124. Epub 2014 Aug 16.


Background: This study aimed to investigate the relationship between household wealth and under-5 year mortality in rural and semi-urban Burkina Faso.

Methods: The study included 15 543 children born between 2005 and 2010 in the Nouna Health and Demographic Surveillance System. Information on household wealth was collected in 2009. Two separate wealth indicators were calculated by principal components analysis for the rural and the semi-urban households, which were then divided into quintiles accordingly. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression was used to study the effect of the respective wealth measure on under-5 mortality.

Results: We observed 1201 childhood deaths, corresponding to 5-year survival probability of 93.6% and 88% in the semi-urban and rural area, respectively. In the semi-urban area, household wealth was significantly related to under-5 mortality after adjustment for confounding. There was a similar but non-significant effect of household wealth on infant mortality, too. There was no effect of household wealth on under-5 mortality in rural children.

Conclusions: Results from this study indicate that the more privileged children from the semi-urban area with access to piped water and electricity have an advantage in under-5 survival, while under-5 mortality in the rural area is rather homogeneous and still relatively high.

Keywords: Africa south of the Sahara; Child mortality; Household wealth; Principal components analysis; Rural-urban difference; Social class.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Burkina Faso / epidemiology
  • Child Mortality*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developing Countries
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality*
  • Male
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • Suburban Population / statistics & numerical data*