198119 Importance of maternal education on child health in the Republic of Yemen

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mariam AbdulHussain , School of Natural Sciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Background: Why is maternal education important? Maternal education is important for a wide variety of public health outcomes. Maternal education is the best contraceptive, is indicative of birth outcomes, and protects child health. However, less is known about salience of maternal education within Islamic context and within countries with low overall education. This paper asks does maternal education influence child health outcomes in the Republic of Yemen.

Methods: Using Multi Indicator Cluster Surveys completed by UNICEF on Yemen in 2006 (3,586 random households in urban and rural areas and included 3,742 ever-married women age 15-49 and 3,783 mothers) I conduct multivariate analysis for three health outcomes: birth weight ratio, child stunting, and completion of immunization while controlling for socioeconomic factors (income) and socio-demographic factors (marital status, parity, household size, and residence).

Results: In assessing the importance of maternal education I find maternal education is significantly associated with prevention of low birth weight, decreases the odds of child stunting, and increases the likelihood of completing immunization. Controlling for multicollinearity, multivariate analysis are mixed except for stunting and low birth weight for which maternal education is a strong predictor.

Conclusion: Even in countries with low education for men and women and many structural impediments to improving child health, educated mothers appear much more likely to negotiate the challenges of keeping children healthy. Overall higher levels of education allow women to be well informed and so are aware of the measures necessary to ensure better child health.

Learning Objectives:
1)Articulate the importance of maternal education and its context in Yemen 2)Identify the health outcomes of child health that maternal education effects. 3)Evaluate the current resources and allocate them to children who are in poor health and to increasing the education of young girls.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be a presenter on this abstract. I am an undergraduate student at the University of Texas in Austin. I traveled to Yemen in the previous summer and was intrigued by the culture. My past experience combined with my research on the country, and statistical analysis qualify me on the subject of my abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.