Background: Under five mortality is a leading indicator of child health and overall development of a nation. It also reflects the social, economic and environmental conditions in which children (and others in society) live, including their health care. The main aim of this study was to identify and analyze socioeconomic, demographic and environmental factors that may have a significant influence on under-five mortality in Ethiopian Somali regional state, eastern Ethiopia. Methods: The study was a retrospective analysis of existing data from 2000, 2005, and 2011 Ethiopia demography health survey data. A total number of live births considered for this study were 515, 563 and 729 with 98 (19.03%), 103 (18.29%), and 104 (14.27%) of under-five deaths occurred during the preceding five years of the study periods (1996-2000, 2001-2005, 2006-2011), respectively. Survival analysis was conducted to find out the determinants of under-five mortality. Results: According to the final cox regression model, factors that significantly predict under-five mortality included family size, preceding birth interval, birth order, type of birth, breastfeeding status, source of drinking water, mother age at first birth, sex of a child (1996-2000), family size, preceding birth interval, birth order, type of birth, breastfeeding status, source of drinking water, mother age at first birth (2001-2005), and family size, preceding birth interval, birth order, breastfeeding status,source of drinking water (2006-2011), respectively. Conclusion: Our study suggested that family size, preceding birth interval, birth order, breastfeeding status, and source of drinking water were significant determinants of under-five mortality in the region. Community-based intervention is required and should focus on child spacing, feeding breast milk, improve access to safe/pipe drinking water and poverty eradication programs, particularly in rural areas, to reduce avoidable under-five mortality in region.
Solomon Gebretsadik Bereka and Fekade Getabil Habtewold
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