A new method to estimate mortality in crisis-affected and resource-poor settings: validation study

Roberts, B; Morgan, OW; Sultani, MG; Nyasulu, P; Rwebangila, S; Myatt, M; Sondorp, E; Chandramohan, D; Checchi, F; (2010) A new method to estimate mortality in crisis-affected and resource-poor settings: validation study. International journal of epidemiology, 39 (6). pp. 1584-96. ISSN 0300-5771 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyq188

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BACKGROUND: Data on mortality rates are crucial to guide health interventions in crisis-affected and resource-poor settings. The methods currently available to collect mortality data in such settings feature important methodological limitations. We developed and validated a new method to provide near real-time mortality estimates in such settings. METHODS: We selected four study sites: Kabul, Afghanistan; Mae La refugee camp, Thailand; Chiradzulu District, Malawi; and Lugufu and Mtabila refugee camps, Tanzania. We recorded information about all deaths in a 60-day period by asking key community informants and decedents' next of kin to refer interviewers to bereaved households. We used the total number of deaths and population estimates to calculate mortality rates for 60- and 30-day periods. For validation we compared these rates with a best estimate of mortality using capture-recapture analysis with two further independent lists of deaths. RESULTS: The population covered by the new method was 76?476 persons in Kabul, 43?794 in Mae La camp, 54?418 in Chiradzulu District and 80?136 in the Tanzania camps. The informant method showed moderate sensitivity (55.0% in Kabul, 64.0% in Mae La, 72.5% in Chiradzulu and 67.7% in Tanzania), but performed better than the active surveillance system in the Tanzania refugee camps. CONCLUSIONS: The informant method currently features moderate sensitivity for accurately assessing mortality, but warrants further development, particularly considering its advantages over current options (ease of implementation and analysis and near-real estimates of mortality rates). Strategies should be tested to improve the performance of the informant method.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Disease Control
Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Health Services Research and Policy
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
Research Centre: Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre
ECOHOST - The Centre for Health and Social Change
PubMed ID: 21044978
Web of Science ID: 284952700027
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2300


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