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Interaction of infant mortality and fertility and the effectiveness of health and family planning programs

Howard Barnum

No 65, Policy Research Working Paper Series from The World Bank

Abstract: The interaction of fertility and infant mortality is well established. Lower infant mortality can lead to lower fertility by reducing the need for replacement births. Conversely, birth spacing improves the chances of child survival. To find out how these programs reinforce each other, a study done in Indonesia estimated the effects that family planning programs have on infant mortality and the effects of reduced infant mortality on fertility. The research compared the cost-effectiveness of health and family planning programs and looked at whether the interaction of infant mortality and fertility influenced estimates of the costs of both programs. The results demonstrate a substantial spillover effect, confirming that the interaction does raise the cost-effectiveness of both programs. These findings are sufficiently consistent that policymakers should consider the mortality-fertility interaction as a regular part of the appraisal of health and population projects. Integrated programs offer lower costs and more effective promotion. They also improve efforts to assure infant survival and achieve birth prevention objectives.

Keywords: Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Health Systems Development&Reform; Early Child and Children's Health; Health Economics&Finance; Reproductive Health (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1988-07-31
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