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Investigating the Important Correlates of Maternal Education and Childhood Malaria Infections

Publication Abstract

Njau, Joseph D., Rob Stephenson, Manoj P. Menon, S. Patrick Kachur, and Deborah A. McFarland. 2014. "Investigating the Important Correlates of Maternal Education and Childhood Malaria Infections." American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 91(3): 509-519.

The relationship between maternal education and child health has intrigued researchers for decades. This study explored the interaction between maternal education and childhood malaria infection. Cross-sectional survey data from three African countries were used. Descriptive analysis and multivariate logistic regression models were completed in line with identified correlates. Marginal effects and Oaxaca decomposition analysis on maternal education and childhood malaria infection were also estimated. Children with mothers whose education level was beyond primary school were 4.7% less likely to be malaria-positive (P < 0.001). The Oaxaca decomposition analysis exhibited an 8% gap in childhood malaria infection for educated and uneducated mothers. Over 60% of the gap was explained by differences in household wealth (26%), household place of domicile (21%), malaria transmission intensities (14%), and media exposure (12%). All other correlates accounted for only 27%. The full adjusted model showed a robust and significant relationship between maternal education and childhood malaria infection.

Disclaimer: The findings and conclusions presented are those of the authors and don not necessarily represent those of the United states Public Health Service (USPHS) nor the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Trade names are used for identification purposes only and do not imply endorsement by USPH nor CDC.

DOI:10.4269/ajtmh.13-0713 (Full Text)

PMCID: PMC4155551. (Pub Med Central)

Countries of focus: Angola, Tanzania, Uganda.

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