Infant mortality is mostly caused by diseases and these diseases are due to the prevalence of parasite hosts in certain areas. It is believed that year, thousands of children are born in this country and thousands of these children die from diseases such as diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles and childhood tuberculosis. This is stated in a pamphlet on Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) published by the Federal Epidemiological unit, Federal Ministry of Health, Lagos, 1981.
Children’s development and survival are influenced by a number of factors which include environmental sanitation, most of all nutrition and parents lack of awareness some children are malnourished due to the fact that their parents do not know what constitutes a balanced diet for. They lack the knowledge of what helps the children to grow normally and build up strong immunity against such diseases that emanate from under – nourished diet. Some parents are illiterate and ignorant, that is why in some remote areas of the country children die out of carelessness and parent ignorance.
Ignorance, in the sense that some parents do not know or observe the programme introduced by the ministry of Health to ward – off those six killer diseases which is Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), presently, the government of Nigeria has carried out a national expanded programme on immunization (EPI) to control these six childhood diseases throughout the federation. Although, Nigeria has been declared small pox free surveillance against the disease is still being maintained. Government should be commended on their efforts to create awareness on the side of the parent and their effort to ward off these diseases, thereby reducing the infant deaths in the country. More can be done also by educating the parents o how to maintain good environmental hygiene ad nutritional standard of their diet so as to rear healthy children. Actually, the rate of infant mortality motivated me to carry out a research on this project topic and also suggest ways which can reduce the rate of infant mortality.
1.1 AIMS AND OBEJCTIVES
The aims and objectives of this project are as following:
1. To determine the ratio of males to females death, among infants less than 1 year.
2. To determine whether infant mortality is greater tan the standard range for infant, mortality which is (10-55) deaths per every 1000.
3. To determine if mortality is independent of sex of a child.
4. To determine if the mean mortality for male and female infants are the same.
5. To suggest possible preventive measures to reduce the number of infant deaths that occur.
1.2 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study is limited in scope and coverage area to the park-lane hospital, Enugu. The age interval considered in this project is from 1 month to 1 year, because from the definition of the term, “infant mortality” the most ideal age is under 1 month to 1 year.
1.3 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Demography: This is define as the study of statistics of human population, it helps in studying how the population growth had behaved in the past and how it is going to behave in future.
Morbidity Rates: Morbidity in statistics involves illnesses, injures, hospitalization, and incapacitation applicable definitions of sickness in an area. This term refer to diseases or injury at an appropriate level of measurement. The general intention is that the terms used should cover the whole course of one disease or injury in one person as far as the course is relevant to the particular enquiry concerned. Morbidity data are collected through specific reports, examples are;
1. Notification of infection diseases
2. Notification of congenital abnormalities and it is also being collected form special disease register like cancer register, coronary register.
Infant Mortality: Mortality rate is the index of death over the index of birth for a given period and infant morality is being defined by considering the term used in their project work as infant under 1 month to 1 year. According to Puffer R.R. Serrand in his book mortality in childhood 1978, described it as the number of death under one year over the number of the birth multiplied by 1000. It can be represented mathematically as:
Number of death under 1 year x 100
Number of life birth
Infant mortality rates vary from country to country
Diseases: This is sickness or disorder caused by infections. There are lots of diseases that brings about death of children. These diseases include; Tuberculosis, Measles, Whooping cough, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Small pox, Poliomyelitis, Kwashiorkor and Tuberclosis.
Tuberclosis is a common acute or chronic disease which can cause disability and death. It usually affects the respiratory system, bones, joints and nervous systems. Skins and lymphatics the tubercle bacillus may enter the body of inhalation infection or direct inoculation. Inhalation of bacillus spread in droplet formed by coughing or sneezing.
Signs and symptoms: fever, weight loss and chest pains.
Preventive measures: the health education of the public and necessary isolation of the known cases, then administration of BCG vaccination against the disease.
Measles: This is a communicable childhood disease. The virus is spread largely by the droplet spray from the nose, throat and mouth of persons in the early stage of the most readily transmitted communicable diseases.
Signs and symptoms: fever, headache, rashes all over the body,
Preventive measures: includes immunizing the children against the disease, isolation of the cases of measles from susceptible children until 5 days after appearance of rash.
Whooping cough: This is an acute bacterial disease it is a very serious disease and one of the major killers among the children. The disease is transmitted by droplet spread and by direct or indirect contact with discharge from respiratory mucos membrances of infected persons.
Signs and symptoms: irritative cough and slight fever. Preventive measures are: Isolation of known cases. Health education of the public and particularly parents.
Diphtheria: This is an infectious disease characterized by the formulation of a fibrous pseudo – membranes on the mucosa usually that of respiratory tract. It is transmitted by droplets from the respiratory tract of a carrier or a patient. The only effective control is by active immunization with diphtheria toxtoid.
Tetanus: This is a disease induced by a toxin of the tetanus bacillus growing anaerobically at the site of an injury. In new born, transmission may occur by contamination of the umbilical cord, the risk of tetanus is universal, it is particularly high in developing countries. Effective and durable protection against tetanus can be obtained only by active immunization preferably with absorbed to toid which is generally afforded in infancy or early childhood.
Smallpox: This is a very serious disease which spreads rapidly from person to person and it kills children, disfigures and gives rise to blindness. It is caused by germs spread through coughing and sneezing and can be as well prevented by isolating the infected person and vaccination.
Signs and symptoms: high fever, headache, backache and rashes like pimples
Poliomyelitis: This is a viral disease with seventy ranging from in apparent infection to non paralyte diseas. The causative agent belongs to the enteromous family. Polionmses exist as 3 (three) immunologic strains associated with epidermics. Besides, man, chimpanzee and monkeys are also susceptible. Poliovirus are spread primarily by direct contact and by carriers. The virus is present in the secretion of the throat and the intestinal excretion and it enhances spread of the infection especially where there is poor sanitation.
Signs and symptoms: 3 (three) clinical forms of poliomyelitis are recognized abortive, paralytic and non-paralytic forms, they have common sign and symptoms which are fever, headache, sore-throat and stiff neck.
Preventive measures: active immunization of all susceptible persons against 3 types of polio viruses.
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