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Determinants of infant mortality in Ethiopia: A study based on the 2005 EDHS data
Authors: S Muluye, and E Wencheko
Source: Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 26(2): 72
Topic(s): Infant mortality
Country: Africa
Published: MAY 2012
Abstract: Background: According to the Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey of 2000, the infant mortality rate in Ethiopia was estimated at 96.8 deaths per 1000 live births. Continuous follow up studies about infant mortality are vital to the development of the country. The present study is an undertaking against the background of the prevailing high rate of infant mortality based on Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey data gathered in 2005. Objective: The main objective of this study was to determine socioeconomic, demographic and environmental factors/variables that could have impact on infant mortality in Ethiopia. Methods: The study used data from the 2005 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey. The Kaplan-Meier method and Cox proportional hazards regression model were employed to analyze the data. Results: The results of Kaplan-Meier estimation showed that most infant deaths occurred in the earlier months immediately after birth and then declined as the age of the infant advanced to 12 months. It was observed that about 47.9 % and 58.4% of the deaths, respectively, occurred in the first and second months of the follow up period. The Cox proportional hazards analysis identified “breast feeding status”, “mother’s age”, “mother’s level of education”, “child birth order”, “source of drinking water” and “sex of infant” as significant predictors of infant mortality. Conclusion: In order to reduce infant mortality, awareness creation efforts have to increase birth spacing, improve the level of education of mothers, encourage breastfeeding, provide access to safe water and discourage teenage pregnancy. To this effect, existing health policy guidelines related to birth have to be improved, and perhaps new ones be formulated, in order to achieve the desired outcome of reducing infant mortality.