According to scientific literature there are various markers of child vulnerability. Among them are: household wealth status, education levels of caregivers, living arrangements, relationship to head of household, Orphanhood, and OVC status. This paper examines specifically the role of orphanhood and OVC status in predicting child outcome in health, education, access to food and nutritional status. The study was conducted in the districts of Marracuene, Katembe, Dondo, and the administrative post of Natikire in Mozambique. We conducted a household survey of 1,759 households with 5,726 children aged 0–17years. This Abstract focuses on children under the age five years only. We examined shelter, health, food security and nutrition, legal protection, education, and psychosocial outcomes among children and we measured differences in these outcomes based on whether households care for OVC and on poverty status. We disaggregated household level data in order to show the differences between (1) poor households taking care of OVC, (2) poor households not taking care of OVC, (3) non-poor households with OVC, and (4) non-poor households without OVC. This categorization allows us to demonstrate disparities among households and highlights the most vulnerable households.
OVC status was found to be an independent predictor of poor child outcomes in terms of food security, nutritional status, health, psychosocial wellbeing, and education. For example, among children under five years old, poor OVC households were more than twice as likely to have a child go hungry a day and night compared to poor non-OVC households. Among 5–11 year olds, poor OVC were more likely to be behind in grade-for-age compared to poor non-OVC and more than twice as likely compared to non-poor, non-OVC. In logistic regression models, poor OVC were 2.7 times more likely to be out of school compared to non-poor, non-OVC.
- Child outcomes
- OVC status
- poverty and OVC care