Infant mortality in Transkei.
Infant mortality is generally regarded as an indicator of the standard of health and it is probably one of the best measures of the general socio-economic conditions in a society. There are indications world wide (including South Africa), of slowing down in the decrease of infant mortality rate, and a continued existence of wide variation in infant mortality levels. Conversely, it has also been noted that some relatively poor countries have managed to achieve low levels of infant mortality as often experienced by wealthier nations. The case for more attention to be paid to understanding the changing dynamics of infant mortality is compelling. Using the Demographic and Health Survey, which was conducted in Transkei in 1987, this study has looked into levels and patterns of infant mortality in Transkei and factors influencing them. The accuracy of the data was determined by using the Myers' Blended Index and Life Table Model. Response errors usually arise in developing countries from omission of vital events and misstatement of dates and age. A direct method of estimation was used to determine the level of infant mortality, in Transkei, during the period 1984-1986. Socio-economic and medical factors influencing infant mortality levels were identified using univariate analysis and multiple logistic function. The results of this study indicate that these factors significantly influence infant mortality in Transkei. In particular, income, womens' employment, duration of breastfeeding, age of the mother when giving birth, spacing of births and vaccination are important factors influencing infant mortality in the region.