The Health Consequences of the Mozambican Civil War: An Anthropometric Approach


Domingues, Patrick, and Thomas Barre. 2013. “The Health Consequences of the Mozambican Civil War: An Anthropometric Approach.” Economic Development and Cultural Change 61 (4): 755–88. doi:10.1086/670377.

Authors: Patrick Domingues, Thomas Barre


Survivors of a war bear the burden of reconstruction; therefore, understanding the costs of civil conflicts to survivors' health is crucial for the design of postwar economic policies. This article investigates this issue by examining the Mozambican Civil War using an original georeferenced event data set. The results presented here show that fully grown women exposed to the conflict during the early years of their lives have poorer health, as reflected by a lower height-for-age z-score. Using the infancy-childhood-puberty curves, a concept used in the medical literature to study the human growth process, this study demonstrates that this negative effect depends on both age at the time of exposure to the civil war and the number of months spent in the conflict zone. Furthermore, this study finds that the number of months of prenatal civil war exposure has a negative impact on a woman's health, thereby highlighting the importance of prenatal conditions for health outcomes.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Gender, Health, Reproductive Health, Livelihoods, Militarized Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 2013

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