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Professional care delivery or traditional birth attendants? The impact of the type of care utilized by mothers on under-five mortality of their children.
Tropical Medicine and Health. 2018; 46(1)Background: Because of the high under-five mortality rate, the government in Zambia has adopted the World Health Organization (WHO) policy on child delivery which insists on professional maternal care. However, there are scholars who criticize this policy by arguing that although built on good intentions, the policy to ban traditional birth attendants (TBAs) is out of touch with local reality in Zambia. There is lack of evidence to legitimize either of the two positions, nor how the outcome differs between women with HIV and those without HIV. Thus, the aim of this paper is to investigate the effect of using professional maternal care or TBA care by mothers (during antenatal, delivery, and postnatal) on under-five mortality of their children. We also compare these outcomes between HIV-positive and HIV-negative women. Methods: By relying on data from the 2013-2014 Zambia Demographic Health Survey (ZDHS), we carried out propensity score matching (PSM) to investigate the effect of utilization of professional care or TBA during antenatal, childbirth, and postnatal on under-five mortality. This method allows us to estimate the average treatment effect on the treated (ATT). Results: Our results show that the use of professional care as opposed to TBAs in all three stages of maternal care increases the probability of children surviving beyond 5 years old. Specifically for women with HIV, professional care usage during antenatal, at birth, and during postnatal periods increases probability of survival by 0.07 percentage points (p.p), 0.71 p.p, and 0.87 p.p respectively. Similarly, for HIV-negative women, professional care usage during antenatal, at birth, and during postnatal periods increases probability of survival by 0.71 p.p, 0.52 p.p, and 0.37 p.p respectively. However, although there is a positive impact when mothers choose professional care over TBAs, the differences at all three points of maternal care are small. Conclusion: Given our findings, showing small differences in under-five child's mortality between utilizers of professional care and utilizers of TBAs, it may be questioned whether the government's intention of completely excluding TBAs (who despite being outlawed are still being used) without replacement by good quality professional care is the right decision. © 2018 The Author(s).
Journal of Health, Population, and Nutrition. 2008 Sep; 26(3):273-9.Bangladesh is currently one of the very few countries in the world, which is on target for achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 relating to child mortality. There have been very rapid reductions in mortality, especially in recent years and among children aged over one month. However, this rate of reduction may be difficult to sustain and may impede the achievement of MDG 4. Neonatal deaths now contribute substantially (57%) to overall mortality of children aged less than five years, and reductions in neonatal mortality are difficult to achieve and have been slow in Bangladesh. There are some interesting attributes of the mortality decline in Bangladesh. Mortality has declined faster among girls than among boys, but the poorest have not benefited from the reduction in mortality. There has also been a relative absence of a decline in mortality in urban areas. The age and cause of death pattern of under-five mortality indicate certain interventions that need to be scaled up rapidly and reach high coverage to achieve MDG 4 in Bangladesh. These include skilled attendance at delivery, postnatal care for the newborn, appropriate feeding of the young infant and child, and prevention and management of childhood infections. The latest (2007) Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey shows that Bangladesh has made sustained and remarkable progress in many areas of child health. More than 80% of children are receiving all vaccines. The use of oral rehydration solution for diarrhoea is high, and the coverage of vitamin A among children aged 9-59 months has been consistently increasing. However, poor quality of care, misperceptions regarding the need for care, and other social barriers contribute to low levels of care-seeking for illnesses of the newborns and children. Improvements in the health system are essential for removing these barriers, as are effective strategies to reach families and communities with targeted messages and information. Finally, there are substantial health-system challenges relating to the design and implementation, at scale, of interventions to reduce neonatal mortality.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2007.  p. (WHO Discussion Papers on Adolescence; Issues in Adolescent Health and Development)The World Health Organization (WHO) has been contributing to meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by according priority attention to issues pertaining to the management of adolescent pregnancy. Three of the aims of the MDGs - empowerment of women, promotion of maternal health, and reduction of child mortality - embody WHO's key priorities and its policy framework for poverty reduction. The UN Special Session on Children has focused on some of the key issues affecting adolescents' rights, including early marriage, access to sexual and reproductive health services, and care for pregnant adolescents. This review of the literature was conducted to identify (1) the major factors affecting the pregnancy outcome among adolescents, related to their physical immaturity and inappropriate or inadequate healthcare-seeking behaviour, and (2) the socioeconomic and political barriers that influence their access to health-care services and information. The review also presents programmatic evidence of feasible measures that can be taken at the household, community and national levels to improve pregnancy outcomes among adolescents. (excerpt)