Investigating under-Five Mortality in Non-Orphaned Kinship Care in South Africa: Does Type of Kin Caregiver Matter?

Khuthala Mabetha
Nicole De Wet- Billings, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Clifford O. Odimegwu, University of the Witwatersrand

Introduction: While there is considerable literature on under-five mortality in kinship care contexts, effects of various kin on the mortality risks of children remain largely unknown. Methods: This study utilised the 2014/15 South African National Income Dynamics Survey from a sample of 5,325 children who were living with a kin caregiver in 2014. Kaplan- Meier graphs were used to predict mortality levels using “type of kin caregiver” as a time-constant predictor variable. Results: Under-five mortality is highest among over 75% of children who are raised by grandmothers, followed by children who are raised by uncles or aunts (over 50%) while the risk is lower among children raised by other relatives. Conclusion: Non-orphaned children remain largely marginalised in literature as it is commonly believed that the care they receive from extended kin is beneficial for them. Thus, there is a need to examine the effect of extended kin on child survival.

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  Presented in Session 140. Understand Changing Patterns of Unions, Families, Households: Factors and Consequences on Child and Elders