Infant mortality among slum dwellers in Dibrugarh city, India: the categorical causes

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Minakshi Kakati

Abstract

Slum-dwellers are the most considerable but overlooked section of Indian society. The slum people of India are treated like third rate citizens in their own country. They are characterised by having inefficient living areas, a growing population living below the poverty line, nil drinking water, and latrines shared among hundreds, a nonexistent sewage system. The inaccessibility to basic living conditions results in a “slum lifestyle” modelled by several characteristics. The lives of these people are illustrated by high rates of poverty and their socio-economic condition does not push them to live a healthy life. The present study makes an effort to explain the possible causes of infant mortality with special regard to slum households in Dibrugarh City, India. The study is based on primary data collection through fieldwork, secondary data collection and use of statistical methods wherever required. Findings indicate birth asphyxia (35.30%) is the highest cause of the infant death in the neonatal period, along with significant observations with respect to other diseases. A huge 29.41% of postneonatal death infant stands as an unknown cause of mortality in the study area. Therefore, findings of the present study not only have larger implications in terms of understanding the infant mortality scenario of slum areas but also will help in framing adequate policies for uplifting their standard of living as well as basic well-being.

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