Looking at maternal inequalities (socioeconomic class, age and human immunodeficiency virus status) to predict well-being of neonates during infancy


Background: Infant health inequalities responsible for high infant sicknesses and deaths in our setting could depend to a large extend on maternal inequalities like socioeconomic class (SEC), age and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Objective: To look at maternal inequalities (SEC, Age and HIV), to predict well-being of neonates during infancy. Methods: Subjects were selected using systematic random sampling. Maternal education, occupation, age and HIV status were obtained using a questionnaire; their SEC was derived using the Oyedeji’s model. Gestational age (GA) of the neonates was estimated from their mother’s last menstrual period, obstetric ultrasound scan reports or the Dubowitz criteria; and birthweight (BW) was determined using the basinet weighing scale, which has a sensitivity of 50 grams. Results: Ninety mother-neonatal pairs were enrolled, 47 (52.2%) neonates were males and 43 (47.8%) females. Most of the neonates were term 66 (73.3%) and of normal BW 75 (83.4%). A significant association existed between maternal variables and the likely hood of the subjects being less healthy during infancy (χ2 = 126.528, p < 0.005). Maternal age had a negative correlation coefficient with GA (r = -0.200) and BW (r = -0.115) and comparison of MA, GA and BW was significant (F = 2662.92, p < 0.0001). Conclusion: The combine effects of maternal SEC, Age and HIV have predicted less healthy neonates during infancy. Neonates in the present work are more prone to sicknesses and ill-health during infancy.

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Ahmadu, B. (2013) Looking at maternal inequalities (socioeconomic class, age and human immunodeficiency virus status) to predict well-being of neonates during infancy. Health, 5, 1-5. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.58A4001.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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