oa African Population Studies - Spatial variations in infant and child mortality levels in Sierra Leone

Volume 1989, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0850-5780



The general research objectives of this project were to calculate and map levels of infant, child and adult mortality in the administrative districts of Sierra Leone using 1974 census data, followed by a correlational analysis of these levels with certain key social variables. These were the distribution of medical facilities, the distribution of the population with no formal schooling and malaria endemicity by district. The results showed an estimated infant mortality rate of 215 in 1971 for Sierra Leone. The proportion of children dying before their fifth birthday was pegged at -3582 also for 1971- In relation to other African Countries, Sierra Leone was in the category of countries with very high infant and child mortality levels. Infant and child mortality levels in the administrative areas of Sierra Leone were in general very high but in addition showed some differences in levels. Only the Western Area had an infant mortality rate below 160 in 1971. The highest infant mortality rate was in Pujehun District (272). The pattern is the same when one examines the proportion of children dying before their fifth birthday, with the Western Area having the lowest (.2630) and Pujehun District having the highest (.4431). Attempts at explaining the regional variation in mortality levels by the distribution of health facilities, the percentage of the population with no formal schooling and malaria endemicity failed to provide any significant results once the Western Area was excluded from the analysis.

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