Possible Determinants and Spatial Patterns of Anaemia among Young Children in Nigeria: A Bayesian Semi-parametric Modelling

Journal Article
  • Ezra Gayawan
  • Ekundayo D. Arogundade
  • Samson B. Adebayo
International Health
January 31, 2014; 6 (1): 35-45. DOI: 10.1093/inthealth/iht034.


Anaemia is a global public health problem affecting both developing and developed countries with major consequences for human health and socioeconomic development. This paper examines the possible relationship between Hb concentration and severity of anaemia with individual and household characteristics of children aged 6-59 months in Nigeria; and explores possible geographical variations of these outcome variables.

Data on Hb concentration and severity of anaemia in children aged 6-59 months that participated in the 2010 Nigeria Malaria Indicator Survey were analysed. A semi-parametric model using a hierarchical Bayesian approach was adopted to examine the putative relationship of covariates of different types and possible spatial variation. Gaussian, binary and ordinal outcome variables were considered in modelling.

Spatial analyses reveal a distinct North-South divide in Hb concentration of the children analysed and that states in Northern Nigeria possess a higher risk of anaemia. Other important risk factors include the household wealth index, sex of the child, whether or not the child had fever or malaria in the 2 weeks preceding the survey, and children under 24 months of age.

There is a need for state level implementation of specific programmes that target vulnerable children as this can help in reversing the existing patterns.