265867 Assessing the causes of infant mortality using verbal autopsy in Jamkhed, India

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 9:30 AM - 9:45 AM

Devora Aharon, BS , Medical Education, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Jackie Hsieh, BS , Medical Education, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Ramin Asgary, MD, MPH , Dept of Medicine, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Background: Despite decrease in child mortality in Jamkhed, more data is needed to evaluate and address factors relevant to infant (below age of one year) death. We assess the causes of infant mortality to provide potential appropriate recommendations. Methods: We applied a verbal survey adapted from the World Health Organization's standard verbal autopsy. We interviewed mothers or close relatives of infants who were present for the illness leading up to the infant's death. Respondents were identified using records of Village Health Workers. Additionally we performed a retrospective review of infant mortality data gathered by Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP)'s hospital, in Jamkhed for comparison. Results: Participants were between 15 and 65 years old. Twenty-seven deaths were reported in four villages over past ten years; 55% were neonatal (28 days or younger). Fifty-two percent were female. The predominant causes of death were prematurity (and subsequent asphyxiation) and pneumonia. There was no report of preceding malnutrition. The number of deaths has decreased over the past 5 years. Comparison with previous health records showed consistent causes of infant death over past ten years, except for septicemia. Majority of death was from families who sought care from private physicians instead of CRHP hospital, and less than 33% of those consulted the Village Health Worker (VHW) for care. Conclusions: Increasing access to low cost health care, expanding prenatal and post-natal health education by VHWs to areas and communities not currently covered by CRHP, and emphasizing prevention and prompt management of common mortality causes are warranted.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
To assess the common causes of infant mortality using verbal autopsy in developing regions To describe strategies to address these causes

Keywords: Child Health, Infant Mortality

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have extensive international health experience working with NGOs and academic institutions in global health field. I serve as the principle investigator of this project and have designed and developed this research. I have analyzed data and drafted and finalized the abstract.
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.