Infant Mortality in the Central African Region: A Time Trend Descriptive Analysis

Author(s): Frankline Sevidzem Wirsiy, Denis Ebot Ako-Arrey, Eugene Vernyuy Yeika

Background: The infant mortality rate (IMR) represents a pertinent indicator of a country’s wellbeing, given its relation with different determinants, such as public health policies, socioeconomic conditions, maternal health, quality and access to medical services. The objective of this review was to assess the trend of infant mortality rate in the 2007-2017 period of the Central African Region member states.

Methods: Data on infant mortality rates was extracted from 2007 to 2017 (A 10 year review) using the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (IGME) database. We focused on the UN IGME data base as it empirically outlines IMR data based on a comprehensive database; compiled from censuses, vital statistics systems and surveys. In addition to the UN IGME database, we used the Boolean strategy to search through PubMed and other databases for relevant articles to support the findings.

Results: Our results indicate that in the 2007-2017 period, the IMRs for Central Africa member states showed downward trends. Several reasons may explain the overall downward trend recorded in the whole Central Africa and its countries. We observed the highest rates of infant mortality in the Central African Republic and lowest in Sao Tome and Principe.

Conclusion: The review highlights two important findings: first, to date, little emphasis has been placed on developing robust mortality estimates for pediatric populations in Central Africa. Secondly, IMR were higher for the Central African region countries in almost all years compared to the SGD Goal 3.2, although the trend dropped equally from 2007 to 2017. Central African member States need to set their own targets and develop specific strategies to reduce infant mortality and monitor their progress towards the reduction. Accelerating progress is essential in all Central African countries, to achieve th

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