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Keywords:

  • child mortality;
  • rainfall;
  • rural areas;
  • Burkina Faso

Abstract

Apart from the classical determinants of child survival, ecological factors can have a strong influence on child survival in rural subsistence societies, particularly by their impact on malnutrition and on the reduction of income. Persistence of unfavourable climatic conditions may lead to a sharp reduction of food production, and children under five are particularly sensitive to food shortage. This study combines exceptionally reliable multi-source data in event-history models, to understand how rainfall variations may influence child survival in Burkina Faso, which experiences high levels of child mortality and high rainfall disparities. The results highlight the necessity of measuring the rainfall variations with accuracy at fine spatial and temporal resolutions. Child survival in Burkina Faso depends on rainfall conditions, but there are specific patterns of rainfall variations and children's mortality relationships in each agro-climatic region. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.