Factors influencing neonatal mortality: Evidence from the 2007 Zambia demographic health survey
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Background:Of the estimated 130 million infants born each year worldwide, 4 million die in the first 28 days of life illustrating how neonatal mortality accounts for almost 40 percent of under-five child mortality, globally. The continued loss of infants within the first month of life results from a complex chain of socio-economic, biological and healthcare-related factors. We examined factors that may be associated with neonatal mortality in Zambia. Materials and Methods:Using a cross-sectional design, data were extracted from the 2007 ZDHS Women's Questionnaire for respondents aged 15-49 years in the selected households. Women who reported having given birth to live infants within the five years preceding the survey were included as the study population but only those infants who could have lived through the first month (28 days) were assessed. Results A total number of 6 435 live-born infants within the five years preceding the survey were extracted as the study population. Of these births, 219 (3.4%) neonatal deaths were recorded.Low birth weight and overweight were reported as the prominent factors .The odds of dying were significantly higher for infants with low birth weight compared to infants born with normal weight, (aOR=2.58, 95% CI 1.02-6.49). The pattern was the same in both rural though insignificant. Over weight born babies were also associated with increased odds of dying (aOR 3.21, CI 1.36-7.59) compared to normal sized born babies. Compared to infants born from Mothers with no education, infants born from mothers with at least secondary school and higher were associated with increased odds of dying (aOR 3.55, CI 95%, 1.26-9.94). Mother’s age at birth also showed some relationship with neonatal mortality. Babies born to Mothers in the age group 18-24 years had reduced odds of dying than babies born to those in the age group 12- 17 years.
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