The Impact of Low Farming Yields in Sub-Saharan Africa on Maternal Mortality and Mortality of Children Under the Age of 5
by Vinay Kalva
Abstract – Child and maternal mortality are major causes of morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Further, agriculture is a key part of the sub-Saharan African economy. However, the role of low farming yields in sub-Saharan African health outcomes has not been adequately considered, with only two studies having been conducted as of 2021. In this paper, the experimenter used publicly released data from UNICEF and the World Bank for all sub-Saharan African countries to determine the role that low farming yields had on maternal mortality and mortality of children under the age of 5 (MC5). The experimenter found a negative correlation between low farming yields and maternal mortality as well as low farming yields and MC5; however, the correlation was weak due to data heterogeneity. The two primary outliers, Mauritius and Cabo Verde, have high healthcare scores and high-quality health education respectively, which contributes to their low rates of maternal mortality and MC5. While this study did not find a positive conclusion, it adds to the literature by providing an opportunity for further research to explore the relationship between agriculture and health in sub-Saharan Africa, which has historically been understudied in the region and not studied previously on the scope of this paper.