Exploring the Factors Associated with Infant Mortality in Rural Indonesia

  •  Dian Kristiani Irawaty    
  •  Indra Elfiyan    
  •  Edy Purwoko    


Infant mortality is a sensitive indicator to measure the health condition of a population. Despite large declines in infant mortality rates in Indonesia, the people living in rural areas are the most affected. This study aims to analyze the causes of infant mortality in rural Indonesia and suggested strategies for its reduction. This study is an analytical cross-sectional design based on the 2017 Indonesian Demographic and Health Survey (IDHS) dataset for children. The information on infant deaths collected from those mothers who experienced infant deaths. Series of logistic regression models were used to select the significant factors affecting infant mortality in rural Indonesia. Infant mortality is associated with intermediate social determinants such as birth order, birth weight, and breastfeeding status. Socio-demographic factors such as the educational status of mothers, wealth quintile, the smoking habit of the mother, age of mother at first delivery, and sex of the baby are also related to infant mortality. The most crucial factors in rural Indonesia were the age of first-time mothers. As a strategy for addressing the issue of infant mortality in rural areas, the result of the study highlights the need for decreasing adolescent pregnancies among the youngest age groups. Pregnant mothers in the youngest age group should be supported by quality maternal health services to ensure their pregnancies in healthy condition. The focus of breastfeeding promotion programs should be encouraged, particularly on early initiation and duration of breastfeeding.

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