We investigate the effect of a family-based primary health care program (Healthly Early Childhood Program) on infant mortality in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. We estimate infant mortality’s counterfactual trajectories using the differences-in-differences approach, combined with the use of longitudinal data for all municipalities in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Our main result is that the program reduced the number of deaths caused by external causes. The length of exposure to the program seems to potentiate the effects. For the number of deaths by general causes, there is no evidence of impact. Our findings are consistent with the nature of the program that aims to improve adults care with children. The Healthly Early Childhood Program is effective in reducing the number of avoidable deaths in infants.
Infant Mortality; Primary Health Care; Program Evaluation