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Childhood mortality among schedule tribes and schedule castes in northeast states, India: evidence from national family health survey 4 (2015-16)

Author: 
Kh. Jitenkumar Singh, Sunita Sharma, Subhash Gautam and Jeetendra Yadav
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

The present study to estimate the childhood mortality, i.e., neonatal mortality rate (NMR), infant mortality rate (IMR) and under-five mortality (U5M) among Schedule Castes, Schedule Tribes, Others Backward Classes and Others social group; and assess the Childhood mortality differential in social-religious stratification i.e., Schedule Tribes, Schedule Castes, Others Backward Classes and Others social group in northeast state, India. Data & Methods: Using data from National Family Health Surveys 4 (NFHS-4) conducted during the years 2015-2016, measures of mortality during infancy and childhood i.e., Neonatal mortality: the probability of dying in the first month of life, Infant mortality: the probability of dying before the first birthday and Under-five mortality: the probability of dying before the fifth birthday, were computed. All women age 15-49 year asked to provide a complete history of their births including for each live birth, sex, month and year of birth, survival status, and age at the time of the survey or age at death. Age at death was recorded in days for children dying in the first month of life, in months for other children dying before their second birthday, and in years for children dying at later ages. This information was used for computation of various mortality rates. The unit of analysis in this study is the child, considering more than one child may have the same mother. One aim of this study is to estimate the childhood mortality, i.e., neonatal mortality rate (NMR), infant mortality rate (IMR) and under-five mortality (U5MR) among Schedule Castes, Schedule Tribes, Others Backward Classes and Others social group; and investigate differential in childhood mortality by social status that is, Schedule Castes, Schedule Tribes, Other Backward Classes and Others social group. Results and conclusion: NMR, IMRand U5MR among schedule Castes were found to be 25.7, 39.1and 47.5, among schedule Tribes were 17.1, 32.7 and 41.2. This study analysed childhood mortality differential in social-religious stratification i.e., Schedule Castes, Schedule Tribes,Other Backward Classes and Others social status. The findings highlight the need for addressing socio-cultural norms towards eliminating discrimination among schedule Castes and schedule Tribes and need-based programmes focus on delaying the age at first birth for younger women among others social group other than the schedule castes and schedule tribes in Northeast states. Results shows that children born to SC and ST families have lower risk of dying than those from non SC&ST in Northeastern states, India.

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