Under-five mortality, health and selected macroeconomic variables: The children behind the digits
Paul Andrew Bourne, Ikhalfani Solan
Background: The literature is filled with studies that have evaluated infant mortality, child mortality, and income distribution and mortality, but no single research in the Englishspeaking Caribbean has wholly examined the relationship among child mortality, inflation, infant mortality, poverty, and economic crisis as well as modeling those phenomena. Objectives: This work seeks to bridge the gap in the literature by modeling child mortality, inflation, infant mortality, poverty, and economic crisis as well as the appropriateness of linear modeling in addition to an assessment of under-five age-specific mortality. Methods: This work uses data collected from various Jamaican government departments’ publications. Data were entered, stored and analyzed using the Statistical Packages for the Social Sciences (SPSS) for Windows version 17.0 (SPSS Inc; Chicago, IL, USA) as well as Microsoft Excel. Pearson’s product Moment Correlation was used to assess the bivariate correlation between particular macroeconomic variables and other variables, and Ordinary least square regression analyses were used to establish the model for 1) log Infant mortality rate; and 2) log child mortality rate. Results: Poverty, inflation, unemployment and gross domestic product influence child mortality. The findings revealed that there is an inverse correlated between health care utilization and infant mortality rates, and unemployment negatively influences child deaths. During economic recession infant and child mortality rates decline and the opposite is true in periods of economic growth. Conclusion: This work provides a basis for public health actions and programmes to stem the incidence of child mortality particularly in periods of economic downturn and rise in cost of living.