Underweight Children in Ghana: Evidence of Policy Effects

Samuel K. Annim, University of Cape Coast

With sub-Saharan Africa trailing behind the achievement of the MDG’s, country-specific assessment of the targets are imperative. This paper analyses both national and community level policy interventions that were instituted with the aim of improving child health in Ghana, from 1990 to 2006. We use pooled data from four rounds (1993-98-03-08) of Ghana’s Demographic and Health Survey to examine determinants of child’s weight-for-age (combination of stunting and wasting). The difference-in-difference approach is used to evaluate the differential effect of interventions for communities and over time. We observe that household’s wealth, mother’s education and body mass index significantly reduce underweight. Community level interventions show a much stronger effect than national level policy interventions. The effect of regional disparity is significant as household wealth fails to explain weight-for-age in the case of intra-region analysis. Addressing implementation differences is important for a unified and an accelerated reduction of the proportion of underweight children.

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Presented in Poster Session 5