Under-age marital childbirth in north-west Nigeria: implications for child health.

Olatunji Alabi, Olusola Omisakin, Adeola Alabi


Context/Background: Under-age marital birth is high in northern Nigeria. We explore the association between under-age marital childbirth and child health indicators in north-west Nigeria.

Data source and Methods: Analysing NDHS 2013 data of 9,011 currently married women in northwest Nigeria, with at least a childbirth in the 5 years preceding the survey, we explored the implications of maternal age at first birth for child health outcomes (anthropometric measures and child survival).

Results: The lowest age at birth in the region was 12 years. Binary logistics regression shows that odds of child survival was highest among mothers aged 18 years and above at first childbirth by 52% (CI: 1.17-1.97; p-value < 0.01). Finding suggests that poor child anthropometric outcomes is not associated with under-age childbirth but other factors such as women education and wealth status in the study area.

Conclusion: Early childbirth prevention interventions aimed at abrogating child marriages and promoting girl child education are needed in the region.


Child health; under-age birth; child marriage; girl child education; North-west Nigeria; NDHS.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11564/32-3-1228


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