Recent Declines in Infant and Neonatal Mortality in Turkey from 2007 to 2012: Impact of Improvements in Health Policies
Central European Journal of Public Health
Infant mortality rate (IMR) and neonatal mortality rate (NMR) are accepted as good indicators to measure the health status of a nation. This report describes recent declines in IMR and NMR in Turkey. Methods: Data on infants who died before 12 months of life were obtained from the Infant Mortality Monitoring System of Ministry of Health of Turkey between 2007 and 2012. A total of 94,038 infant deaths were evaluated. Results: Turkey IMR and NMR exhibited a marked decline from 2007 (16.4 and
... 2007 (16.4 and 12.2) to 2010 (10.1 and 6.6) and then plateaued in 2012 (9.7 and 6.3), despite regional differences. Prematurity, congenital anomalies and congenital heart diseases (CHD) were the three most common causes of infant deaths between 2007 and 2012. While the rates of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and metabolic diseases increased, the rates of congenital anomalies and birth injuries decreased. IMR and NMR significantly increased with the number of infants per paediatrician, per doctor, and per midwife, while was decreasing with the increased rate of hospital birth, caesarean delivery, antenatal care, infant follow-up, and staff trained within the Neonatal Resuscitation Programme (NRP). Conclusion: From 2007-2012, Turkey showed remarkable encouraging advances in reducing IMR and NMR. Any interventions aimed at further reductions in IMR and NMR should target the common causes of death and defined risk factors especially in socioeconomically disadvantaged regions.