19 October 2021

Progress and Determinants of Newborn Mortality in the Kyrgyz Republic

The Kyrgyz Republic has the highest maternal mortality rate (MMR) in WHO’s Eastern European region at 76 per 100,000 live births in 2015, and has only reduced MMR by 5 per cent in the past 25 years (80 per 100,000 live births in 1990), while the Central Asia region experienced a 52 per cent decline in the same period. Neonatal mortality has declined more steadily in the post-Soviet years, from 24.0 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1991 to 10.7 deaths in 2017, a 54 per cent reduction compared to 51 per cent globally and 59 per cent in the Central Asia region. However, a comparison between the years 2014 and 2018 using MICS data shows an overall reduction in the inequality in neonatal mortality. The gap between urban and rural neonatal mortalities remained the same from 2014 to 2018. In 2014, the poorest wealth quintile group experienced the largest neonatal mortality rate but in 2018 they had the lowest with the middle wealth quintile taking their spot and moving above the national average. While the Kyrgyz Republic has made great progress on reducing neonatal mortality, evidence shows that more work is needed to further improve maternal and newborn health outcomes and accelerate progress towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 3 by 2030. To date, a comprehensive assessment of maternal and newborn health in the country has not been done. The broad research aim of this study was to conduct a comprehensive and systematic assessment of the trends and determinants of newborn health and survival in the Kyrgyz Republic, in order to develop recommendations for scaling up health gains. The time period of interest was 1990–2018, to examine progress in the 1990–2015 MDG era and 2015–2018 SDG period.