Cause-Specific Neonatal Deaths: Levels, Trend and Determinants in Rural Bangladesh, 1987-2005

Unnati Rani Saha, ICDDR,B and Tilburg University
Arthur van Soest, Tilburg University
Govert Bijwaard, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)

Reducing neonatal mortality is a particularly important issue in Bangladesh. We employ competing risks model incorporating both observed and unobserved heterogeneity and allowing the heterogeneity terms for various causes to be correlated. Data came from Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS), Matlab. The results confirm the general conclusion on levels, trends and patterns of causes of neonatal deaths in the existing literature, but also reveal some remarkable socioeconomic differences in the risks of cause-specific deaths. Deaths due to low birth weight and other causes (sudden infant death, unspecified or specified) are better explained from the socio- economic covariates than deaths due to neonatal infections or obstetric complications. Conclusion highlights role of maternal and child health interventions (particularly tetanus toxoid immunization for pregnant women, nutrition programs, and high coverage health services: distance to health centre). Policies that increase quality and equity in child births may help to further reduce neonatal mortality.

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Presented in Session 88: Maternal, Infant, and Child Mortality in Developing Countries