Newborn Survival in South Asia: Contributions of Thermal and Umbilical Cord Care

Lindsay Mallick , The DHS Program
Jennifer Yourkavitch, Design, Monitoring and Evaluation for Sustainable Development (PADME'S), ICF
Courtney Allen, The DHS Program, ICF

Although child mortality has decreased over the last several decades, neonatal mortality has declined less substantially. In South Asia, neonatal deaths account for the majority of all under-five deaths, calling for further study on newborn care practices. Using data from Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal between 2005 and 2016, we conducted multivariable logistic regression to identify predictors of two key newborn care practices—thermal care and hygienic cord care—and their associations with neonatal mortality among home births. With limited neonatal mortality events in Bangladesh and Nepal, we pooled data from these countries. Antenatal care and skilled birth attendance increased the odds of infants’ receipt of the recommended practices. Hygienic cord care significantly predicted newborn survival, as did skilled care during pregnancy and birth. Findings highlight the importance of these services for newborn survival in south Asia. However, missing responses were common for mothers whose newborn died.

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 Presented in Session 11. Health & Mortality 2