Forced migration and child health and mortality in Angola

Winfred Aweyire Avogo, Victor Agadjanian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


This study investigates the effects of forced migration on child survival and health in Angola. Using survey data collected in Luanda, Angola, in 2004, just two years after the end of that country's prolonged civil war, we compare three groups: migrants who moved primarily due to war, migrants whose moves were not directly related to war, and non-migrants. First, we examine the differences among the three groups in under-five mortality. Using an event-history approach, we find that hazards of child death in any given year were higher in families that experienced war-related migration in the same year or in the previous year, net of other factors. To assess longer-term effects of forced migration, we examine hazards of death of children who were born in Luanda, i.e., after migrants had reached their destinations. We again observe a disadvantage of forced migrants, but this disadvantage is explained by other characteristics. When looking at the place of delivery, number of antenatal consultations, and age-adequate immunization of children born in Luanda, we again detect a disadvantage of forced migrants relative to non-migrants, but now this disadvantage also extends to migrants who came to Luanda for reasons other than war. Finally, no differences across the three groups in child morbidity and related health care seeking behavior in the two weeks preceding the survey are found. We interpret these results within the context of the literature on short- and long-term effects of forced migration on child health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Angola
  • Child health
  • Childhood mortality
  • Forced migration
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • War

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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