Although antenatal care (ANC) interventions have been in place for a long time, there is hardly any systematic evidence on the association between ANC interventions and neonatal mortality in India. The present study attempts to investigate the association between ANC interventions and neonatal mortality in India using data from the District Level Household Survey conducted in India during 2007-8. The ANC interventions included in the analysis are at least four antenatal visits, consumption of 90 or more iron-folic acid (IFA) tablets, and uptake of two or more tetanus toxoid (TT) injections. We have used discrete-time logistic regression models to investigate the association between ANC interventions and neonatal mortality. Risk of neonatal mortality was significantly lower for infants of mothers who availed four or more antenatal visits [odds ratio (OR): 0.69; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.60-0.81], consumed 90 or more IFA tablets (OR: 0.85; 95% CI: 0.73-0.99), received two or more TT injections (OR: 0.73; 95% CI: 0.63-0.83). When we analysed different combinations of antenatal visits, IFA supplementation and TT injections, TT injections provided the main protective effect-the risk of neonatal mortality was significantly lower in newborns of women who received two or more TT injections but did not consume 90 or more IFA tablets (OR: 0.69; 95% CI: 0.60-0.78), or who received two or more TT injections but did not avail four or more antenatal visits (OR: 0.75; 95% CI: 0.66-0.86). In the statistical model, 6% (95% CI: 4-8%) of the neonatal deaths in India could be attributed to a lack of at least two TT injections during pregnancy. Indian public health programmes must ensure that every pregnant woman receives two or more TT injections during antenatal visits.
Keywords: Antenatal visits; India; discrete-time logistic regression model; iron–folic acid supplementation; neonatal mortality; tetanus toxoid injections.
Published by Oxford University Press in association with The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine © The Author 2013; all rights reserved.