In 2011, Save the Children India launched a project for the disadvantaged population of Rajasthan, Bihar and Odisha. As a baseline activity, neonatal deaths during January–December 2012 were investigated using modified verbal autopsy tool in six sub-district-level administrative units (blocks) adopting 30-cluster sample survey approach.
Our study reported a total of 189 neonatal deaths of which 50% occurred at home and 39% happened on Day 1. About half of the deaths occurred in blocks from Bihar. High number of neonatal deaths belonged to households that were below poverty line (64%) and other disadvantaged classes (46%); among mothers who were illiterate (65%), <20 years of age (54%) and during their first-order births (36%). Birth asphyxia was a major cause of neonatal deaths across all blocks. These findings indicate need for easy and early access to transport services, specialized neonatal care and advocacy targeted towards increasing community awareness.
This research was supported by the UK Department for International Development’s Operational Research Capacity Building Programme led by the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease (The Union)
Dogra V, Khanna R, Jain A, Kumar AM, Shewade HD, Majumdar SS (2015) Neonatal mortality in India’s rural poor: Findings of a household survey and verbal autopsy study in Rajasthan, Bihar and Odisha. Journal of Tropical Pediatrics, Volume 61, Issue 3, 1 June 2015, Pages 210–214, https://doi.org/10.1093/tropej/fmv013
Neonatal mortality in India’s rural poor: Findings of a household survey and verbal autopsy study in Rajasthan, Bihar and Odisha