This study shows that socio-demographic factors such as birth interval, stunting, access to health facilities and literacy, along with geospatial factors such as prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum malaria, variety of ethnic groups, mean temperature, and intensity of lights at night can explain up to 60% of the variance in child mortality across 255 DHS sub-national areas in
the 27 countries. Additionally, three regions - Western, Central, and Eastern Africa - have markedly different mortality rates. By identifying the relative importance of policy-relevant socio-demographic and environmental factors, this study highlights priorities for research and programs targeting child mortality over the next decade.
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