Publications & Reports

Neonatal mortality in India's rural poor: Findings of a household survey and verbal autopsy study in Rajasthan, Bihar and Odisha.

Dogra V, Khanna R, Jain A, Kumar AM, Shewade HD, Majumdar SS
Save the Children, New Delhi, India, 110019 [email protected]


In 2011, Save the Children India launched a project for the disadvantaged population of Rajasthan, Bihar and Odisha. As a baseline activity, neonatal deaths during January-December 2012 were investigated using modified verbal autopsy tool in six sub-district-level administrative units (blocks) adopting 30-cluster sample survey approach. Our study reported a total of 189 neonatal deaths of which 50% occurred at home and 39% happened on Day 1. About half of the deaths occurred in blocks from Bihar. High number of neonatal deaths belonged to households that were below poverty line (64%) and other disadvantaged classes (46%); among mothers who were illiterate (65%), <20 years of age (54%) and during their first-order births (36%). Birth asphyxia was a major cause of neonatal deaths across all blocks. These findings indicate need for easy and early access to transport services, specialized neonatal care and advocacy targeted towards increasing community awareness.


  • Journal: Journal of Tropical Pediatrics
  • Published: 29/03/2015
  • Volume: 61
  • Issue: 3
  • Pagination: 210-214