Infant mortality in Iran: a district level analysis of the 2006 census

Shirin Ahmad-Nia, Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, Iran
Amir-Houshang Mehryar, Ministry of Science, Research & Technology, Iran
Tavakkol Aghayari Hir, University of Tabriz
Aliyar Ahmadi, Shiraz University
Nahid Salehi

Until recently there was scant information on infant mortality in Iran. A detailed analysis of data collected by the Rural Health Network of Iran (MOHME, 2004) has provided a wealth of information on level and regional variations of infant mortality in the 18000 villages covered by the network (Mehryar & Ahmad-Ni, 2008). A carefully worded question on the number of children born during the one-year period preceding the 2006 census and their survival at the time of the census has also resulted in the collection of a large amount of data on infant mortality across both urban and rural areas of the country. This paper presents the findings of an analysis of these two sets of data. Infant mortality rates calculated on the basis of data collected by the rural health workers are much lower than the estimated figures commonly used in national and international references. They are however consistent with such other measures of health and development as male and female literacy, contraceptive practice, vaccination of children and proportion of births attended by trained personnel. Infant mortality rates derived from the 2006 census are on average higher than those collected by rural health workers and indicate wider variation across the 336 sub-provincial districts covered by the census. The two sets of data are however highly correlated which lends support to the validity of the data. The also correlate moderately with such indicators of socio-economic development as literacy, level of education and urbanization collected as part of the census.

Presented in Poster Session 2