Socio economic factors influence low birth weights in Nepal

03 Lug 2017 INASP
229 volte

According to research, 27% of all children born in Nepal have low birth weight and over three-quarters of the new born deaths in Nepal occur in these low birth weight babies. A recent research article published in the Journal of Nepal Paediatric Society has identified age, economic status, nutrition and health check-up during pregnancy as the main factors affecting low birth weight in Nepal. "Children born to mothers above 35 years of age, living in joint-families and having low economic status were found to have given birth to babies with low birth weight," explains Dr Manju Shrestha, lead author of the article. Children weighing less than 2.5kg at the time of birth are considered to be low birth weight, according to the World Health Organization definition. "Low ANC (ante-natal care) visits, not using folic acid and smoking and drinking habits were also associated with low birth weights," she adds. 

The research was carried out among 350 children admitted in NICU (Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit) of Tertiary Care Teaching Hospital, Chitwan, Nepal between October 2012 and September 2014.  "I, along with my colleagues, carried out the research because it was very painful to see so many children dying due to low birth weight," says Dr Manju Shrestha. 

As low birth weight is the main cause of child mortality in Nepal, finding out the causes behind it and working on improving them is crucial to improving child health. Nepal still has a neonatal mortality rate of 33 per 1000 live births, which, according to Dr Shrestha, is very high compared to the neighbouring countries. “There is no option to addressing the factors affecting low birth weight if we want to decrease child mortality rates,” she says. 
Dr Shrestha advises increased number of trainings on neo-natal health, better access to nutritious food and vitamin and iron supplements during pregnancy to reduce low birth weight. Disclaimer: Research published in journals hosted on the NepJOL platform is selected by the journals in accordance with their own editorial processes and criteria. INASP and Tribhuvan University Central Library provide hosting and guidance on good practices but are not involved in selection of research.

 

http://www.inasp.info/en/news/details/257/

Ultima modifica il Venerdì, 11 Agosto 2017 10:25
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