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Infant mortality decline in Armenia: Why with uneven rates?

By Mihran Hakobyan and Levon Yepiskoposyan

Abstract

In this paper we analyse infant mortality in Armenia in terms of not only its socio-economic and geographic distribution but also changes in its age structure. Primary data on live births and infant deaths recorded in the official statistics and data of "Armenia Demographic and Health Survey 2005" are studied. We find that the socio-economically disadvantaged portion of the Armenian population is at a significantly increased risk of infant mortality; that geographically the mortality risk is unequally distributed, and is highest in the poorest region, Shirak; and that the recorded decline in infant mortality is due entirely to a decline in post-neonatal mortality, with neonatal deaths currently accounting for more than 75% of infant mortality as a whole. We conclude that efforts to reduce infant mortality in Armenia, and probably in the rest of this region of Commonwealth of Independent States, must involve policies and strategies that target infants' survival in at-risk populations, living in at-risk geographical regions, as well as addressing the issue of neonatal mortality among all Armenians.Infant mortality Neonatal mortality Socio-economic and geographic inequalities Armenia

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