Impact of maternal and child health strategy on child survival in a rural community of pondicherry

Debashis Dutt, D. K. Srinivasa

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine the impact of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) services on child survival in a socio-economically backward rural community. Setting; Twelve villages in Pondicherry with a population of 16803. Design: Prospective study. Subjects: A birth cohort of 356 live births (LB) born between January 1st and December 31st 1988. Methods: The live births were followed-up from birth to five years age (1988-1993). The health care received by this cohort and the antenatal services received by the cohort mothers was reviewed. Outcome measures related to child survival were determined and their changing trend since 1967 was examined. Results: Fifty-four per cent of the cohort children were from families below the poverty line. Antenatal registration and tetanus immunization coverage of the mothers of the cohort was 100%. Immunization coverage of the cohort children was more than 98% for BCG, DPT (three doses) and OPV (three doses) and 82% for measles. The infant mortality rate had reduced from 201/1000 LB in 1967 to 64/1000 LB (95% Cl 58.9-68.1) in 1989. The child death rate decreased from 29.4/1000 children 1-4 years of age (1970) to 18/1000 (95% Cl 13.9-22.1) in 1992. There were no deaths due to neonatal tetanus or measles. Neonatal mortality (35/1000 LB; 95% Cl 29.9-40.1) was higher than the post-neonatal mortality (29/1000 LB; 95% Cl 24.1-33.9). Fifty eight per cent of the neonatal deaths were due to non-infective causes like prematurity, birth asphyxia, birth injuries and congenital anomalies. Eighty per cent of post neonatal deaths were due to infections. Overall, the child survival index was high (91.27%; 95% Cl 88.14-94.26). This was inspite of the low socio-economic background of the children's families. Conclusions: Good MCH services can substantially improve child survival inspite of prevailing low socio-economic situations. Inputs for neonatal care need to be strengthened to further enhance child survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785-792
Number of pages8
JournalIndian Pediatrics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 01-09-1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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