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Clustering of child deaths among families in low- and middle-income countries: a meta-analysis

Dwivedi, Laxmi Kant, Ranjan, Mukesh, Mishra, Rahul, Ahmed, Waquar and Bhatia, Mrigesh (2023) Clustering of child deaths among families in low- and middle-income countries: a meta-analysis. Health Science Reports, 6 (7). ISSN 2398-8835

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Identification Number: 10.1002/hsr2.1197


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Several studies have examined the phenomenon of "death clustering," in which two or more children born to the same mother or from the same family die at an early age. Therefore, a scientific examination of the results is essential to understand how the survival status of the older siblings affects the survival of the younger siblings. By using meta-analysis, this study aims to provide a quantitative synthesis of the results of studies on "child death clustering" in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). METHODS: This study followed the PRISMA-P 2015 guidelines. We used four electronic databases-PubMed, Medline, Scopus, and Google Scholar with search and citation analysis capabilities. Initially, 140 studies were identified, but only 27 met the eligibility criteria eventually. These were studies that had used the death of a previous child as a covariate to determine the survival status of the index child. The heterogeneity and the publication bias of the studies were examined using the Cochran test, I 2 statistic, and Egger's meta-regression test. RESULTS: The pooled estimate of 114 study estimates for LMICs contains some bias. India's 37 study estimates were distributed more or less equally along the middle line, indicating no publication bias, while there was a slight bias in the estimates for Africa, Latin America, and Bangladesh. The odds of experiencing the death of the index child in the selected LMICs were 2.3 times higher for mothers who had lost any prior child as compared to those mothers who had not had any prior child loss. For African mothers, the odds were five times higher, whereas for Indian mothers, the odds were 1.66 times higher. Mothers' characteristics, such as education, occupation, health-seeking behavior, and maternal competence, significantly affect the child's survival status. CONCLUSION: Achieving the sustainable development goals would not be possible if mothers in countries experiencing high levels of under-five mortality are not provided with better health and nutrition facilities. Mothers who have lost multiple children should be targeted for assistance.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s).
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2023 11:24
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2024 23:13

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