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Topographical Differences of Infant Mortality in Nepal
Authors: Dev R, Williams MF, Fitzpatrick AL, and Connell FA
Source: Kathmandu University Medical Journal, 14(2): 96-102
Topic(s): Infant mortality
Country: Asia
Published: JUN 2016
Abstract: Background Infant mortality is a major problem in Nepal, particularly in the mountainous region of the country. Objective To identify factors that contributes to the high rate of infant mortality in the mountain zone in Nepal. Method Data were derived from the 2011 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS). Infant mortality was analyzed across three ecological zones in a sample of 5,306 live births in the five years preceding the survey. The contribution of risk factors to the excess infant mortality was assessed using multiple logistic regression. Result Infant mortality rate (deaths per 1000 live births) in the ecological zones were 59 (95% CI: 36, 81), 44 (35, 53), and 40 (33, 47) for the mountain, hill and terai zones, respectively. Women living in the mountain zone were more likely to report that distance to care was a “big problem” and had a greater risk of infant mortality compared to the terai zone (OR=1.42, 95% CI: 1.01, 2.02, p=0.04). This increased risk was observed only among births to mothers who perceived distance to the nearest health facility as a “big problem” (aOR=1.57, 95% CI: 1.01, 2.40, p=0.04) controlling for other risk factors. Conclusion These findings suggest that the higher Infant mortality rate (IMR) in the mountain zone was among the women who perceived distance to health facilities as a big problem. Improved accessibility to health services, particularly in this zone, is an essential strategy for reducing infant mortality in Nepal. KEY WORDS Access to care, developing country, ecological, geography, infant mortality