The determinants of infant mortality in Pakistan

Soc Sci Med. 2000 Jul;51(2):199-208. doi: 10.1016/s0277-9536(99)00460-8.


This study examines factors associated with infant survival in Pakistan. It uses data from the Pakistan Integrated Household Survey 1991, a nationally representative sample survey of the Government of Pakistan, funded by the World Bank. The infant mortality rate was still very high in Pakistan until the early 1990s, at 100 deaths per 1000 live births. The study shows that there is no evidence of a secular decline in infant mortality during the 1980s. Large differentials in infant survival by socio-economic factors and access to water and sanitation indicate that social and gender inequities are the underlying cause of the stagnation of infant mortality in Pakistan. Economic and social policies of earlier decades have resulted in tremendous disparities in wealth and access to resources in Pakistan. The low social, economic and legal status of women is intimately tied to the well-being of their children. Health interventions in Pakistan should be designed to reach the most under-served: women and children. Systematic evaluations of health interventions will be necessary to make informed decisions about health investments in the future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pakistan / epidemiology
  • Poverty*
  • Reproductive History
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors