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This study investigated the rate and causes of infant mortality. The study was carried out in Irrua Teaching Hospital, Edo state, Nigeria. A reconnaissance survey was carried out in order to identify the various locations of hospitals in the LGAs. During the reconnaissance survey, oral interviews were carried out on women of child bearing age. Purposive sampling technique was used to select the study area, with up to date medical records of infant and child mortality. Stepwise Regression Analysis was used to model the spatial pattern of these changes in the mortality trend of Edo State. A total of 386 questionnaires were retrieved out of 400 questionnaires administered on 400 respondents (96.5%). The major findings of the study reveal that major cause of morbidity in the study area is malaria (26.9%), major causes of death in the study area are malaria (30.1%) and it also showed that 39% of the children are within the ages of 0-1year. Mortality also varies with the marital status of the respondent, where the high rate of mortality was experienced by mothers who are married but not living with their husbands and widows. The major factors that determined mortality in the study area is distance to the health facility. Evidence from the hospital survey showed that the level of under-five mortality in Edo state has remained high since the past 10 years with an estimated U5MR of 163/1,000 live births even after considering a myriad of factors, including heterogeneity in study design.  The study further recommended that Edo State Government should bring health services nearer to the communities especially in Irrua community so that mothers will have access to both during pregnancy and after. The impact of delivery a child with the help of a medical professional is enormous.



1.1     Background of the study

According to the medical dictionary, infant is a child during his or her first year of life till 5 years old of life. Then, infant mortality is the number of death which occurs among the young once. Infant mortality rate which is also known as (IMR) correlates very strongly with life expectancy birth by region and is among the best predictors of state failure. IMR is therefore also a very useful indicator of a country level of health development and is a component of the physical quality of life index. Due to the improvement in the care and general management of diseases among the children and the prevention of this diseases which has lead to a better life for the infant, and some common challenges infancy is now the subject of this project. The diseases accounting for infant mortality is statistically analyzed carefully.

Infant mortality refers to the death of a child born alive before its first birthday and child mortality is the death of a child aged between one and five years. Demographers have for a long time been interested in the study of mortality which is one of the components of population change. Infant and child mortality are among the best indicators of socioeconomic development because a society life expectancy at birth is determined by the survival chance of infants and children.

Childhood mortality is an important indicator of all heath programs and policies; likewise it contributes to population projection. Childhood mortality measures also help identify specific population that are at increase in health risk. Several measures of childhood mortality are calculated using Demographic Health Survey (DHS) data. During the twentieth century almost all countries experienced decreases in child mortality rate. However, the timing and pace of the decline varied substantially. Sustained reductions in child mortality began in the nineteenth century in Europe, North America, and Japan and continued gradually throughout the twentieth century. Major declines in other parts of the world generally began only after World War II. Mortality reductions in Asia, Latin America and Africa were usually much more rapid that they had been in countries that began mortality declines earlier. By 1999 there were great variations in child mortality among countries for example, although less than 0.5 percent of children died before the fifth birthday in Iceland, more than 33 percent died by age five in Niger. Since the 1960s the decline in child mortality sometimes has appeared to have stagnated as was the period from 1975– 1985, when many poor countries experienced severe crises and other problems such as economic recovery from the 0.1 crisis of 1973 – 1974. Recent evidence suggests that child mortality has continued to decline in most countries since 1980. However, during the 1990s the HIV/AIDS epidemic halted or reversed declines in child mortality in some eastern and southern African countries. For example, in Zimbabwe in the period 1990 – 1994 there were 50 deaths under age five per 1,000 live births.

The study of infant mortality is of great economic, social, political and cultural importance for the determination of future population in humanity.

Also, this research gives the life expectancy at birth, which to a great extent helps in making population projection. The most important among the population policies are fundamentally related to those of health and mortality.

In Edo state Irrua comprises of towns and also with a great population.  The entire infant mortality rate in this project covers both male and female.

Irrua specialist teaching hospital comprises of several unit, which includes; the administrative unit the medical unit, the medical unit, and the general nursing unit.

For the study of infant mortality, we refer to infant (children between the ages of 0-5) years of life. The death that may occur between this early years receives more attention since infant mortality takes a relatively heavy toll on life, both a fair and low death rate implies a substantial number of infant death because infant contains large portion of total population.

1.2     Statement of the problem

This research work is being carried out to detect the rate of infant mortality (IMR). In Edo state using Irrua specialist teaching hospital as a case study and to know the causes of this mortality and the most common killer diseases of infants that has taken place in Irrua specialist teaching hospital as a case study. The incidence of infant and child mortality has been of great concern to both the government and individuals. The needs for policies that may adequately arrest the situation cannot be achieved without some in depth acquaintance with the available dates. This study will address vital issues as the fate of infant mortality, child mortality, and age specific fertility.

1.3     Objectives of the study

1.            To test for the difference of two means between infant and child mortality rate.

2.            To estimate infant and child mortality rate.

3.            To estimate age specific fertility rate.

4.            To determine the trend line and forecast of infant and child mortality.

1.4     Research questions

1.            What is the difference of two means between infant and child mortality rate?

2.            What is the estimate infant and child mortality rate?

3.            What is the estimate age specific fertility rate?

4.            What is the trend line and forecast of infant and child mortality?

1.5     Hypotheses of research question

HO1: There is no significant difference between infant and child mortality rate in Irrua Teaching Hospital

HO2: There is significant difference between infant and child mortality rate in Irrua Teaching Hospital

1.6     Significance of the study

The purpose of this study is to ascertain the total number of death that occurred from 2005-20010 in Irrua local government area. Also, the study shows which among the male and female infant are mostly affected by this death. The study also looks at the diagnosis of the diseases that constitutes to the infant mortality.

It is expected that findings from the study will greatly assist Edo State in determining the extent to which several measures that are put into place have been effective in reducing mortality rate in Edo State.

1.7     Scope of the study

Though the topic of this research is a wide topic (an analysis of infant mortality) as a result, it infant mortality will mainly be taken into account.

Therefore the scope of this study is restricted on Irrua west local government in Edo state. The decision to particularize the research in Irrua is due to the respect of infant. Mortality problem in this town with the statistical test that will be carried out on the effect will give the suggestion and valid inferences will be made to reduce this infant mortality rate. This project is limited to Irrua specialist teaching hospital due to the data collected from it well organized recording department.

1.8     Limitation

Lack of finance which is the most common problem a researcher will encounter in carrying out a research constitutes the inability of getting more information from one place to another to collect this data. The method adopted in collecting this data is secondary which may subject to no or little error. Though, to collect the data is not an easy job but with all the effort put together, it was possible to achieve.

1.8     Definition of terms

Still birth: Still birth is a situation was by a baby is born dead.

NEO Natal death: this is the death of babies after birth.

Pre-Natal mortality: this is the period of the early death that starts from Festus too late birth before birth takes place.

Exogenous death: these are the death caused by external factors such as accident.

Endogenous death: these are the death caused by physical factors such as illness of any sort.

Lactation: this is the period in which mothers/nursing mothers breast feed their babies.

Live birth: the world health organization (WHO) defines live birth as  any born human  being who demonstrate independent signs of life including breathing, heartbeat, umbilical cord pulsations

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