Saturday, April 21, 2012

Comparing neo-natal care options

Mint has an excellent graphic that highlights why home-based neo-natal care is an extremely cost-effective approach to addressing India's shockingly high Infant Mortality Rate. It chronicles the success of NGOs in the extremely backward Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra in lowering IMR and improving infant health through neo-natal care delivered at their homes by local community health workers.

The graphic below compares the cost per DALY (disability adjusted life years) saved for different types of interventions. As can be seen, home-based neo-natal care and zinc fortification deliver very high bang for the buck. The Gadchiroli-type initiative costs just $7 per DALY saved.

All this assumes much greater significance in view of the lates UNICEF estimates which show that  deaths in the neonatal period or first four weeks account for roughly 40% of all under-five deaths and their proportion has grown by 10% since 1990.

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