Does reproductive health care srvices reduce the risk of neonatal death among religious minority In Matlab, Bangladesh

Lutfun Nahar, ICDDR,B: Centre for Health and Population Research
Abdur Razzaque, ICDDR,B: Centre for Health and Population Research
AHM Golam Mustafa, ICDDR,B: Centre for Health and Population Research

Abstract: Present study is based on Matlab longitudinal population of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR, B) where an intensive reproductive health intervention programme has been launched in its half of the area known as ICDDR, B area since 1977. In this area, Community health workers approach all reproductive women of both religions at home with reproductive health care services. The other half area is known as Govt. area. Using birth and death registration data of 2002-2003 of these two areas, study examines the correlates of reproductive health status among the women of minority group (Hindus). It also explores whether the reproductive health care programme have any differential effect on the reproductive health status of these two religious groups. The population composition of the area is 85 percent Muslims and 15 percent Hindus. In the analysis, reproductive health status has been measured by neonatal mortality level of the two groups. Results of the multivariate analyses show that neonatal mortality between two religious groups (Hindus and Muslims) is similar in the ICDDR, B service area where the interventions programme is in operation for the last 25 years but significantly high among Hindus in the Govt. service area where service is minimum. Other factors that elevate the risk of death among neonates in both areas are breech presentation of baby and baby not cried after delivery. Education of women significantly reduces the risk of neonatal death in both areas while women’s younger age elevated risk of neonatal death in the Govt. area only. High neonatal mortality found in the present study might be related with cultural difference between two communities with regards to pregnancy and delivery practices. Results suggest that utilization of health care service can reduce the longstanding differential in neonatal mortality between religious groups in the society.

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Presented in Poster Session 1