Rates and Causes of Death in Chiradzulu District, Malawi, 2008: A Key Informant Study
AffiliationFaculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK; Médecins Sans Frontières, Blantyre, Malawi; Faculty of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
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AbstractIn September 2008, we measured all-cause mortality in Chiradzulu District, Malawi (population 291 000) over a 60-day retrospective period, using capture-recapture analysis of three lists of deaths provided by (i) key community informants, (ii) graveyard officials and (iii) health system sources. Estimated crude and under-5-year mortality rates were 18.6 (95% CI 13.9-24.5) and 30.6 (95% CI 17.5-59.9) deaths per 1000 person-years. We also classified causes of death through verbal autopsy interviews on 50 deaths over the previous 40 days. Half of deaths were attributable to infection, and half of deaths among children aged under 5 were attributable to neonatal causes. HIV/AIDS was the leading cause of death (16.6%), with a cause-attributable mortality rate of 1.8 (0.4-3.6) deaths per 1000 person-years.