Maternal Characteristics and Child Nutritional Status in Liberia

Maame Peterson, University of Ghana

Many Liberian children suffer the burden of malnutrition. Studies have revealed its consequences on children may be severe and irreversible with long lasting implications on those who suffer malnutrition in early childhood. Mothers are known to be the main providers of primary care to children, thus understanding the contribution of maternal characteristics on child nutrition is key towards addressing the problem. This paper examines the role of maternal socio-demographic characteristics on nutritional status of children measured by stunting, wasting and underweight. Analysis of DHS (2007) data indicated almost a third of children were chronically undernourished, a fifth underweight whilst six percent was acutely undernourished. This is significantly high by Sub Saharan Africa standards. Significant determinants of nutritional status were region of residence, age and sex of child, wealth and migration status during the war. Efforts should address enhancing women’s status in meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

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Presented in Poster Session 4