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The latest nationwide survey of Pakistan showed that considerable progress has been made toward reducing all child mortality indicators except neonatal mortality. The aim of this study is to compare Pakistan's under-five mortality, neonatal mortality, and postnatal newborn care rates with those of other countries. Neonatal mortality rates and postnatal newborn care rates from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHSs) of nine low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) from Asia and Africa were analyzed. Pakistan's maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH) policies and programs, which have been implemented in the country since 1990, were also analyzed. The results highlighted that postnatal newborn care in Pakistan was higher compared with the rest of countries, yet its neonatal mortality remained the worst. In Zimbabwe, both mortality rates have been increasing, whereas the neonatal mortality rates in Nepal and Afghanistan remained unchanged. An analysis of Pakistan's MNCH programs showed that there is no nationwide policy on neonatal health. There were only a few programs concerning the health of newborns, and those were limited in scale. Pakistan's example shows that increased coverage of neonatal care without ensuring quality is unlikely to improve neonatal survival rates. It is suggested that Pakistan needs a comprehensive policy on neonatal health similar to other countries, and its effective programs need to be scaled up, in order to obtain better neonatal health outcomes.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: International journal of environmental research and public health
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