Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Santanu Chakraborty

Second Advisor

Dr. Zhuanzhuan Ma

Third Advisor

Dr. Tamer Oraby


Under-Five Mortality remains a significant challenge in developing countries, especially in Africa. The United Nations has implemented various measures, such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to combat this issue. However, the success of these initiatives is uncertain. Our study investigates the social, economic, and environmental factors contributing to high Under-Five Mortality rates in African countries, using data from 1985 to 2020.We analyzed 53 African countries, partitioning them into training (45 countries) and testing data (8 countries). We conducted Multiple Linear Regression analysis and assessed the model performance using R-squared values and Root-Mean-Squared-Error (RMSE) values. We also carried out Shapiro-Wilk tests for normality, Breusch-Pagan tests for homoscedasticity, and Breusch-Godfrey tests for serial correlation in the errors of our model.

Our findings reveal that Maternal Mortality and Literacy Rates are critical factors leading to high under-five mortality rates in African countries. To further validate these results, we performed Random Forest Regression and Support Vector Regression, which provided better models with higher R-squared values and lower RMSE values. In conclusion, this study highlights the importance of addressing key determinants, such as Maternal Mortality Rates and Literacy Rates, to reduce Under-Five Mortality disparities and improve child health outcomes across the African continent.


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