John Libbey Eurotext

Environnement, Risques & Santé


Water supply and child mortality in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) Volume 6, issue 5, Septembre-Octobre 2007


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Laboratoire Population-Environnement-Développement, UMR IRD-Université de Provence 151, Université de Provence, Centre Saint-Charles, case 10, 3, place Victor Hugo, 13331 Marseille cedex 03, France, Département de démographie, Université de Montréal, CP 6128 Succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal (QC) H3c 357 Canada
  • Key words: child mortality, water, Burkina Faso, survival analysis
  • DOI : 10.1684/ers.2007.0103
  • Page(s) : 365-71
  • Published in: 2007

This study uses longitudinal life-history data to examine factors affecting child survival in Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso. It focuses especially on the controversial role of improvements in water supply on infant and child mortality. In event-history models (piecewise exponential models), as expected, mother’s education is strongly associated with lower child mortality risk and captures most of the effect of water supply. The failure to discover a positive effect of the availability of piped water on childhood mortality may be caused by inadequate modeling of the effect (too partial) or inadequate measurement of access to clean water in and of itself – that is, inadequate conceptualization of how access to water affects health. Relations to water management within the household and water-related hygienic practices are discussed.