250006 Childhood mortality dynamics in developing countries: Quantifying the impact of breastfeeding towards achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Monika Sawhney, PhD , Assistant Professor, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies/Global Health, Mercer University, Macon, GA
Collins Opiyo, PhD , Director, Population and Social Statistics, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Nairobi, Kenya
The association between duration of breastfeeding and child survival is strong and positive. Breastfeeding together is one of the most effective crosscutting interventions to achieve all eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). With benefits of breastfeeding well documented, many of the developing countries still continue to report lower levels of breastfeeding thus causing recurrent diarrhea, Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI), and other infections resulting poor nutritional status of children.

The objectives of this study are (i) to determine the impact of social economic determinants on duration of breastfeeding across low income countries and (ii) to recommend some policy actions that would enhance complementarity in the roles of breastfeeding on one hand and its role in accelerating achievement of child health related MDGs. Three periods: Pre-MDG period: 1995-1999, Early MDG period: 2000-2005, Penultimate MDG period: 2006-2011 will be considered. We model the contribution of breastfeeding as a determinant of childhood mortality between these periods using regression models. The response variable is infant mortality (death within 12 months), while the principal explanatory variable is duration of breastfeeding (in months). Data for selected countries for 1990 2011 in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and South-east Asia will be pooled to examine contribution of each explanatory variable, including breastfeeding. Each country is allowed to appear once in each period. Preliminary results show that length of breastfeeding is strongly associated with use of antenatal services, and women's autonomy. Positive breastfeeding campaigns can accelerate achievement of MDGs especially among countries struggling to achieve child health related MDGs.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Learn about importance of breastfeeding and its role in reducing infant and child mortality 2. Understand the social dimensions of breastfeeding 3. Gain knowledge regarding positive breastfeeding campaigns can have on improving health status of children and help in achievement of millennium development goals

Keywords: Breast Feeding, Children's Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a PhD degree in Public Health and have worked on various research projects related to child health in developing countries
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.