Limited Progress in Increasing Coverage of Neonatal and Child-health Interventions in Africa and Asia

Rajiv Bahl, Cynthia Boschi-Pinto, José Martines
2010 Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition  
The study was conducted to analyze recent trends in the coverage of selected child-survival interventions. A systematic analysis of the coverage of six key child-health interventions in 29 African and Asian countries that had two recent demographic and health surveys-the latest one carried out in 2001 onwards and the immediately preceding survey conducted after 1990-was undertaken. A regression model was used for examining the relationship between the changes in the coverage of interventions
more » ... of interventions and the changes in rates of mortality among children aged less than five years (under-five mortality). A limited increase in the coverage of key child-health interventions occurred in the past 5-10 years in these 29 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. More than half of the countries had no significant improvement or a significant reduction in the coverage of oral rehydration therapy (ORT) for diarrhoea (17/29) and care-seeking for acute respiratory infection (ARI) (16/29). Results of multivariate analysis revealed that increases in the coverage of early initiation of breastfeeding, ORT for diarrhoea, and care-seeking for ARI were significantly associated with reductions in under-five mortality. The results of this analysis should serve as a wake-up call for policymakers and programme managers in countries, donors, and international agencies to accelerate efforts to increase the coverage of key child-survival interventions. The following three main actions are proposed: setting of the clear target; mobilization of resources for increasing skilled birth attendants and health workers trained in integrated management of childhood illness; and implementation of community-based approaches.
doi:10.3329/jhpn.v27i6.4327 fatcat:d6v3amyvybhddi63jr24gjrhca