Trends in Biodemographic determinants of Neonatal Mortality in Zambia: 1992-2007

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Lukama, Kamalata Chinyama
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Neonatal mortality has been one of the major factors used in evaluating the effectiveness of the health systems in any country and is also a barometer in assessing changes in the health status of women. Trends in determinants of neonatal mortality have become even more important in influencing policies that are aimed at enhancing survivorship of neonates. This study examined the trends in bio-demographic determinants of neonatal mortality in Zambia from 1992 to 2007. The study used data from the Zambia Demographic and Health Surveys of 1992, 1996, 2001-2 and 2007. Logistic regression method was used to determine the influence of each of the bio-demographic determinants on neonatal mortality within the context of the Mosley-Chen child survival framework. Neonatal mortality reduced during the period 1992 to 2007. The results reveal that among bio-demographic factors, size of a child at birth, type of birth, preceding birth interval, number of living children of a mother and mothers parity were important determinants of neonatal mortality from 1992 to 2007. Sex of a neonate only influenced neonatal mortality from 1992 to 1996 but its influence significantly reduced in 2001-2 and 2007. In conclusion, the study confirms some of the findings of the 1992 study which looked at the same variables except for birth interval which were no significantly related to neonatal mortality in the subsequent years. It is also clear from this study that younger mothers, especially adolescents and the youths are delaying child bearing until when they are older resulting in the reductions of higher risks associated with neonatal mortality in Zambia. These results therefore build on the already existing knowledge and could be very useful in targeting workable programs which would enhance neonatal survivorship in Zambia
Neonatal Mortality-Zambia , Infants-Mortality-Zambia