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Document Type
Working Papers
Publication Topic(s)
Child Health, Infant and Child Mortality, Maternal Health
Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines
Alfredo L. Fort and Monica T. Kothari and Noureddine Abderrahim and Macro International Inc. Calverton, Maryland, USA
Publication Date
August 2008
Publication ID


Neonatal mortality rates continue to be high in the developing world and are drawing more attention worldwide as its fraction over infant and childhood mortality increases, due to the faster progress achieved in the survival of infants older than one month. Therefore, there is renewed interest in interventions believed to improve neonatal survival, such as providing thermal care to the newborn, postnatal care to the mother and newborn, and counseling on infant and maternal health care to mothers. Questions about these new interventions have recently been added to the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) in five Asian countries, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal and the Philippines. The addition of these questions to the DHS surveys in these five countries provides an opportunity to analyze their associations with neonatal mortality. The survey results indicate that associations exist between mothers’ perceived size of their babies, birth weight, receipt of postpartum care, and neonatal mortality. There are also some associations between elements of newborn care—such as use of a sterilized delivery kit, wrapping of the baby immediately after birth, and giving mothers maternal and infant care advice—and reduced levels of neonatal mortality. These associations, tested in only a few countries, merit further investigation for their potential to contribute to policy and program design in this crucial public health area.