Maternal Education, Domestic Violence and Childhood Malaria in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Baroki, Robert Luanda
Mariam, Anastasie Bulumba
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African Economic Research Consortium
This study investigates the effect of maternal human capital and domestic violence perception on child malaria in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), one of the countries with the highest malaria prevalence in the world. Second only to Nigeria, the DRC recorded the highest number of malaria victims in the world in 2022, representing 12% of global malaria deaths. Malaria is the main cause of child mortality and morbidity in the DRC, with nearly 30% of children below the age of five testing positive, as reported in the latest UNICEF survey. These statistics contrast with the widespread use of insecticide-treated bed nets and excellent knowledge of the modes of malaria transmission in the country. Therefore, this study explores other potential determining factors for malaria, particularly maternal education and attitude toward domestic violence, a measure of empowerment, in order to inform policy measures to combat the disease. The study also analyses anaemia as a malaria-related outcome, in an effort to comprehensively assess the effect of the proposed control factors on the malaria burden, as recommended by the World Health Organization. Using a logistic model based on Rosenzweig and Schultz’s framework and the 2013–2014 DRC Demographic and Health Survey, it is found that maternal education significantly and positively affect child malaria while female empowerment has positive and significant effects on anaemia. Cluster’s altitude, father’s education and mother’s age are other significant predictors of child malaria and anaemia.