Working Paper

Effect of a Community-based Primary Healthcare Program on Childhood Morbidity: A Decomposition Analysis

Published: 2023

Despite global efforts to improve the health and survival of children under-five years of aged, there are still high proportions of child deaths especially in rural remote settings and developing countries. Community-based primary healthcare programs are widely known to help improve access to and use of maternal and child health services in rural communities. In this study, we examined the contribution of a community-based primary healthcare program called the Ghana Essential Health Interventions Program (GEHIP) to reducing under-five child ill health in a rural setting of northern Ghana.

We used data that was collected from mothers before and after the GEHIP intervention from two groups; those communities that received the intervention and communities that did not receive the intervention. Rigorous statistical methods are applied to decipher the improvements in three ill health conditions (illness within the first month after birth, diarrhea and fever) that can be attributed to the community-based intervention. We found that babies in communities in which the intervention was implemented had 15% fewer cases of illness within the first month after birth, 7% less diarrhea and 4% less fever.

Results of our study implies that GEHIP’s community-based primary healthcare program contributed to improving good health of babies in rural remote communities. And since most child deaths often occur because of ill health conditions including diarrhea and fever, we conclude that community-based healthcare programs have a potential for contribute to reducing child mortality in deprived communities and helping to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development goals on reducing child mortality. We encourage health policy makers and practitioners in rural areas with high child mortality to adopt and implement community-based health strategies as a means to improve healthcare delivery for newborn babies.     


Centre Member

Abdulla Mamun
Edmund Wedam KanmikiJames F. Phillips

Centre Member

Martin O’Flaherty


Kanmiki, E.W., Mamun, A.A., Phillips J.F., & O’Flaherty, M., (2023). ‘Effect of a Community-based Primary Healthcare Program on Childhood Morbidity: A Decomposition Analysis, Life Course Centre Working Paper Series, 2023-09. Institute for Social Science Research, The University of Queensland.