Risk factors for neonatal mortality in rural areas of Bangladesh
Neonatal deaths account for about half of all deaths among children under 5 years of age in Bangladesh. This case-control study aimed to identify factors associated with neonatal death in rural areas served by a large NGO programme. Interviews were conducted with mothers of children born alive in 2003 who died within 28 days postpartum (142 cases) and did not die (617 controls). The main risk factors for neonatal death among singleton babies were: complications during delivery (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 3.1[95% CIs: 1.8-5.3]), prematurity (AOR, 8.3 [95% CIs: 4.2-16.5]), care for a sick neonate from an unlicensed “traditional healer” (AOR, 5.9 [95% CIs: 1.3-26.3]), or care not sought at all (AOR, 23.3 [95% CIs: 3.9-137.4]). The study findings indicate the need for identification of babies at high risk for death, community and home-based interventions, and improved referral facilities.