NEWS

Mount talk examines correlation between mother’s education level and infant mortality rate in Bangladesh

October 23, 2018
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -

A. Reza Hossain, associate professor of Economics, presented “The Impact of Mother’s Education on Childhood Mortality in Bangladesh” at Mount Saint Mary College on Thursday, October 18.

A. Reza Hossain, associate professor of Economics, presented “The Impact of Mother’s Education on Childhood Mortality in Bangladesh” at Mount Saint Mary College on Thursday, October 18.

 

According to A. Reza Hossain, associate professor of Economics at Mount Saint Mary College, there is a correlation between a mother’s education level and the mortality rate of her children in developing countries. 

Hossain presented “The Impact of Mother’s Education on Childhood Mortality in Bangladesh” at the college on October 18. 

He said there has been an impressive amount of success in Bangladesh in reducing childhood mortality in recent years, as reported in Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data.

Hossain notes that infant mortality is one of the key indicators of the performance of a country’s public health sector. In 2006, for the first time in recent history, the total number of annual deaths among children under the age of five fell below 10 million, to 9.7 million. This represents a 60 percent drop in the rate of child mortality since 1960. The rates in six countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bolivia, Eritrea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and Nepal – fell by 50 percent or more from 1990 to 2006.

Research conducted by the World Health Organization in developing economies suggests that enabling mothers to identify lower respiratory infection cases like pneumonia, initiate preventative measures like safe water and sanitation, and improve personal hygiene can go a long way in reducing childhood mortality, said Hossain.  

In addition, more educated mothers are often more equipped to recognize health issues in their children, and can articulate such concerns to doctors more effectively, he suggested. 

“These factors and their success of implementation are highly correlated with the mother’s level of formal schooling,” Hossain explained, adding that his research uncovered a “significant negative relationship between mother’s education and childhood mortality” in Bangladesh.

This result suggests that “reducing childhood mortality in developing nations not only requires investment in medical services, but also in other socioeconomic infrastructures including water, roadways, communication, and education,” he concluded.

Hossain’s talk was part of the college’s Investigating Research on Campus (iROC) program. The goal of iROC is to “provide a forum for Mount faculty, staff, and students to showcase their research endeavors with both Mount Saint Mary College and the local community in a manner easily understood by attendees,” explained series coordinators Evan Merkhofer, assistant professor of biology, and Jennifer Park, assistant librarian for access and outreach services. Presentations include research proposals, initial data collection, and completed research projects.

Mount Saint Mary College is ranked a Top-Tier University by U.S. News & World Report, and offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for careers in healthcare, business, education, social services, communications, media, and the liberal arts.