Short stature and the age of enrolment in Primary School: Studies in two African countries

Partnership for Child Development

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This study compares age at enrolment in Primary School with a range of nutritional measures for 8-9 year old and 12-13 year old children in Ghana (n = 1566) and Tanzania (n = 1390). The results show that short stature (height- for-age z-score), but not other nutritional variables (weight-for-age and weight-for-height z-scores and haemoglobin concentration), is strongly associated with late enrolment. This relationship holds for both age group, sexes and countries, and is independent of socio-economic status in Tanzania (where this parameter was assessed). The relationship between stature and age-appropriate grade becomes less marked with progression through school, which is compatible with a higher drop out rate for more stunted children. These results suggest an important role for health in education; that stunted children enrol later in school and are more likely to drop out earlier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-682
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Ghana
  • Late enrolment
  • Schoolchildren
  • Stunting
  • Tanzania


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