Faculty opponent: Professor Zulfiquar Bhutta, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
Målqvist, M. 2010. Who can save the unseen? Studies on neonatal mortality in Quang Ninh province,
Globally, neonatal mortality has remained basically unchanged for the last three to four decades and every year almost four million newborns die before reaching one month of age. This persistent mortality is related to an invisibility of the newborn child in policies and statistics and a neglect of health care decision-makers, planners and practitioners to deliver a perinatal continuum of care. In recent years attention has however been brought to the unchanged neonatal mortality in an effort to improve survival.
The present thesis seeks to increase understanding of obstacles for better neonatal survival. The studies performed are undertaken as sub-studies to the NeoKIP project in Quang Ninh province in northern
There was a substantial under-reporting of neonatal mortality in the official statistics, with study results showing a four times higher neonatal mortality rate in Quang Ninh province than reported to the Ministry of Health. This neonatal mortality rate of 16/1000 live births (as compared to 4.2/1000 in official reports) was unevenly distributed in the province, showing large geographical discrepancies. In the rural and remote areas of
The invisibility of the neonatal period in health information systems hides the true width of the neonatal mortality challenge. By not acknowledging the problem, the marginalization of already disadvantaged groups continues, leaving ethnic minority babies with an elevated risk of dying during the first month in life. This example of ethnic inequity highlights the importance to target those most in need. The studies of the present thesis should therefore be looked upon as a contribution to the struggle to illuminate the global burden of neonatal mortality.
Keywords: Neonatal mortality, Inequity, Ethnic minorities, Care seeking, Delivery care utilization,
Mats Målqvist, Department of Women’s and Children’s Health,