Impact of Military and Political Unrest on Child Mortality in the Central African Republic

Macoumba Thiam, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
B. Oleko Tambashe, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Adam Ahmat, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Raymond Goula, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

The Central African Republic went through recurrent military mutinies between 1996 and 2003. The latest crisis that broke out in October 2002 and culminated with the March 2003 coup d'etat affected four of the country’s most populated districts. A dramatic increase in maternal and child mortality was observed during this period. Impact of political unrest on maternal and child mortality is either direct, through destruction of or poor-accessibility to health facilities, or indirect, through a spread of poverty. Using 2003-census data, this paper assesses both impacts on child mortality. The political unrest is measured by categorizing the 17 districts nationwide into those where combats took place (directly affected), those that hosted displaced populations (indirectly affected) and those not affected at all. Poverty is captured by an index that combines different characteristics of the household. Poisson regression is used and variables known to have an impact on child mortality are controlled for.

Presented in Session 61: Poverty and Health: Implications for Mortality and Disability