Trends and causes of child mortality in rural Tanzania: experience from Rufiji Health and Demographic Surveillance (HDSS)

Malick Kante, Columbia University
Mrema Sigilbert, Ifakara Health Institute (IHI)
Stephane Helleringer, Columbia University

This paper examines the trends and the causes of death of child mortality in Rufiji, whose population has been followed for over twelve years. Between 1999 and 2010 under five mortality (0q5) declined by 52% (from 133 to 64p.1000). We determine if trends changes affected the contribution of specific causes of death. The verbal autopsy study conducted with Rufiji HDSS provides an opportunity to assess these changes in child causes of deaths. We used decomposition techniques to assess the contribution of each cause of death between 1999-2002 and 2003-2010. Prematurity/low birth weight remained the leading cause of death for the neonates. Though malaria is declining, is remaining the leading cause of death for the post neonates followed by pneumonia. However, malaria contributed to 52% to the decrease of child mortality and the neonatal causes contributed only 23%. To achievement of MDG 4, the health programs are more interested to improve newborn survival.

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Presented in Session 87: Mortality in developing countries