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Trend and the Pattern in Excess Female Under-5 Mortality in India, 1987-1993 — 2010-2016

18 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2020

See all articles by Nandita Saikia

Nandita Saikia

Jawaharlal Nehru University

Vandana Tamrakar

Jawaharlal Nehru University

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Abstract

Background: Excess female under-5 deaths have been continuing in India. In this study, we investigated the trend in excess female under-5 mortality rate (U5MR) for 1987-1993 — 2010-2016. We also analyzed excess female U5MR by socio-economic and demographic characteristics of the children.

Methods: Using the Synthetic cohort probability method on three rounds of Indian DHS data, we estimated U5MR by gender for five years before the survey at national, state, and selected district levels. We estimated excess female U5MR using the quadratic model relationship between male and female U5MR in the countries with no evidence of gender preference at birth.

Findings: Excess female U5MR was 20·7 per 1000 live births (95% CI 19·9, 21·4) in 1987-1993, which corresponds to an estimated 882482 excess deaths (CI: 850448, 913888) per year. Excess female U5MR has been reduced considerably to 5·37 per 1000 live births (95% CI 5·5, 5·3), leading estimated annual excess deaths of 62126 (CI: 62957, 61139) among girls in 2010-2016 in India. Three most populous states Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Rajasthan, together contributed 74% of total excess female deaths in 2010-2016 despite experiencing the fastest decline in excess female U5MR between 2000-2006 and 2010-2016. Excess female U5MR is found to be higher among girls of uneducated mothers, belonging to low wealth quintile and living in rural areas. Excess female deaths are conspicuous among female children with high order birth (birth order higher than 3: 24·00 per 1000 live births versus first-order births: 1·00 per 1000 live births).

Interpretations: Despite the remarkable reduction in excess female U5MR in recent years at the country level, the most populous north-central states are unable to decimate the excess female deaths. These states need focused attention on eliminating postnatal discrimination. Girl children from the poor socio-economic background and higher birth order need specific intervention.

Funding Statement: The authors used publicly available data. There was no fund available to conduct this study

Declaration of Interests: This study is based on publicly available data, and authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethics Approval Statement: Not required.

Keywords: Excess female deaths; NFHS; India; under-five mortality rate (U5MR); socioeconomic; gender discrimination

Suggested Citation

Saikia, Nandita and Tamrakar, Vandana, Trend and the Pattern in Excess Female Under-5 Mortality in India, 1987-1993 — 2010-2016 (February 7, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3534201 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3534201

Nandita Saikia (Contact Author)

Jawaharlal Nehru University ( email )

Vasant Vihar
Jawaharlal Nehru University
New Delhi, DE Delhi 110067
India

Vandana Tamrakar

Jawaharlal Nehru University

Vasant Vihar
Jawaharlal Nehru University
New Delhi, DE Delhi 110067
India