Child marriage and its association with morbidity and mortality of under-5 years old children in Bangladesh

Md Moyazzem Hossain, Faruq Abdulla, Rajon Banik, Sabina Yeasmin, Azizur Rahman

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Abstract

Introduction

Child marriage is a significant social and health concern in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This harmful practice violates children’s rights and continues to be widespread across developing nations like Bangladesh. This study investigated the mortality trend among Bangladeshi children and the impact of child marriage on under-5 children morbidity and mortality in Bangladesh.

Methods and materials

A sample of 8,321 children under-5 years old was analyzed using bivariate and multivariate statistical techniques collected from the recent 2017–18 BDHS data. Chi-square test and logistic regression (unadjusted and adjusted) were used to determine the influence of covariates on the target variable.

Results

Results revealed that child mortality was significantly higher among children whose mothers married at an early age than their counterparts. Although the general trend in the prevalence of different childhood mortality in Bangladesh was declining gradually from 1993 to 2018, it was still high in 2018. Also, marriage after 18 years lessens likelihood of diarrhea (adjusted OR = 0.93; 95% CI: 0.76–1.16) and cough (adjusted OR = 0.91; 95% CI: 0.78–1.17) among children. Furthermore, findings reveal that likelihood of different child mortality is higher among early married women.

Conclusion

Immediate intervention through rigorous enforcement of policies and different programs to raise the age at marriage and by lessening socioeconomic disparities can combat the prevalence of high morbidity and mortality of under-5 years old children. Findings from this study will be helpful to accelerate strategies for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to child and maternal health by 2030.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0262927
Number of pages14
JournalPLoS One
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 09 Feb 2022

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