WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 446-456

Institutionalizing district level infant death review: an experience from southern India

1 Health Specialist, United Nations Children’s Fund, Field Office, Hyderabad, India
2 Senior Consultant, Child Health, United Nations Children’s Fund, Bangalore, India
3 Mission Director, National Rural Health Mission, Karnataka, India
4 Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Sri Manakuala Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital, Pondicherry, India
5 Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sewagram, India

Correspondence Address:
Sanjeev Upadhyaya
Health Specialist, United Nations Children’s Fund, Field Office, Hyderabad
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2224-3151.207047

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Background: An Infant Death Review (IDR) programme was developed and implemented in two districts of Karnataka. Objective: We explored the processes that led to the development of the IDR programme with a view to improving the existing pilot programme and to ensuring its sustainability. Methods: A sequential mixed-methods design was followed in which quantitative data collection (secondary data) was followed by qualitative data collection (in-depth interviews). Quantitative data were entered using EpiInfo (version 3.5.1) software and qualitative data were analysed manually. Results: Apart from ascertaining the cause of infant deaths, the IDR Committee discusses social, economic, behavioural and health system issues that potentially contribute to the deaths. As a result of the IDR programme, key actors perceived an improvement in infant death reporting at district level, the development of a rapport with the local community, and elaboration of a feedback system for corrective actions. This has led to improved health care during pregnancy. Conclusions: We found that involvement of the different stakeholders in planning and implementing the IDR programme offered a platform for collective learning and action. Impediments to the success of the programme need to be addressed by corrective actions at all levels for its future sustainability.

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