The Association Between Neonatal Death and Facility Birth in Regions of India

Diane Coffey , Population Research Center

Reducing neonatal mortality in India is critical to achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal of a global neonatal mortality rate (NNM) of no more than 12 per 1000. Policy efforts to reduce India’s NNM, including a large-scale conditional cash transfer program, have focused on promoting birth in health facilities, rather than at home. Between 2005 and 2015, the fraction facility births doubled from 40% to 80%. We assess evidence for the hypothesis that facility births reduce NNM using new data from the National Family Health Survey-4. We find that the association between facility birth and neonatal survival is especially large in the east and central India. In Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, however, being born in a health facility appears to confer no neonatal survival advantage. Documenting the lack of an association between facility birth and neonatal death in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar is important because these states collectively contribute 43% of India’s NNM.

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 Presented in Session 5. Health & Mortality 1