Factors Associated with Infant Mortality in a Rural Setting in South Africa

Akeem T. Ketlogetswe, University of the Witwatersrand
Kathleen Kahn, University of the Witwatersrand

Studies of risk factors and causes of infant mortality (IM) present the opportunity to identify intervention programs appropriate in different populations in an attempt to meet the World Health Organization Millennium Development Goals. The aim of the study was to determine factors associated with (IM) in a rural setting for children born between 1998 and 2002, in the Agincourt Health and Demographic Surveillance Site (AHDSS) using survival analysis on 10,496 children born between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 2002. Results from this study suggest that (IM) was associated with biological factors, e.g., breastfeeding duration and birth weight and health-seeking behaviour of parents such as utilization of under-5 programs in clinics. Proxies for socioeconomic status such as education, marital and refugee status of the mother were associated with IM. However, the effects of these factors differed significantly according to whether mothers were either pregnant for the first time or had been pregnant before.

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Presented in Session 9: Infant Mortality