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A New Avenue for Understanding the Nutritional Health of Children in Guinea

Listed author(s):
  • Ohiniba Carole Bruce


    (GREDI, Faculte d'administration, Université de Sherbrooke)

  • Dorothée Boccanfuso


    (GREDI, Faculte d'administration, Université de Sherbrooke)

In spite of notable progress in medicine, infant-juvenile mortality remains a major issue in developing countries. One of the main causes of this mortality, namely malnutrition, continues to be a serious problem, and its reduction remains the primary target of many health policies developed in a number of countries and organizations. In Guinea, contrary to certain other African countries, the rate of growth retardation for children under 5 years old has risen from 26 to 35% and that of underweight from 23 to 26% between 1999 and 2005. To be able to recommend policies seeking to improve the nutritional status of Guinean children, we use an approach based on the decomposition of Yun (2005) to decompose the gap of the nutritional status of Guinean children that was observed between 1999 and 2005 into the detailed effect of its characteristics and that of the coefficients of the characteristics. In our study, the health status of children is represented by two indicators, namely the Z-score height-for-age and the Z-score weight-for-age of children. The results stemming from the decomposition of Yun (2005) indicate that, regardless of the health indicator considered, the aggregate effect of the coefficients is substantially stronger than that of the characteristics. Our study is a pioneering one for Africa insofar as it seeks to fill gaps in studies along similar lines, which very often limit themselves to explaining the health status of children in a given period, or comparing the health status of children between two periods.

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Paper provided by Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 10-22.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 27 Sep 2010
Handle: RePEc:shr:wpaper:10-22
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