Do health expenditures affect under-five mortality and life expectancy in the ECOWAS sub-Region?

Dejun Zhou, Rowland A. Bassey, Mouchun Yan, Timothy A. Aderemi


This research explored the effect of health expenditures on health outcomes in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The study employed panel data from 2001 to 2020 of all ECOWAS member States (15 countries) and tested the datasets for the presence of a unit root after the descriptive statistics analysis had been carried out. Based on the result of the Augmented Dickey-Fuller stationarity test, the Fully Modified Ordinary Least Squares (FMOLS) method was applied. The result showed that public health expenditure was statistically significant and indirectly related to life expectancy. On the other hand, public health expenditure, private health expenditure and external health expenditure were significantly related with infant mortality. Public health expenditure was found to be directly related to infant mortality while private health and external health expenditures were negatively related. In the light of the above findings, it is recommended that policymakers in the ECOWAS region should devote a higher proportion of their annual budgets to healthcare as a strategy to improve health outcomes, reduce under-five mortality rates, and increase life expectancy in the region. (Afr J Reprod Health 2023; 27 [8]: 105-113).

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