Direct estimates of cause-specific mortality fractions and rates of under-five deaths in the northern and southern regions of Nigeria by verbal autopsy interview

Adeyinka Adewemimo, Henry D. Kalter, Jamie L. Perin, Alain K Koffi, John Quinley, Robert E Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Nigeria's under-five mortality rate is the eighth highest in the world. Identifying the causes of under-five deaths is crucial to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3 by 2030 and improving child survival. National and international bodies collaborated in this study to provide the first ever direct estimates of the causes of under-five mortality in Nigeria. Verbal autopsy interviews were conducted of a representative sample of 986 neonatal and 2,268 1-59 month old deaths from 2008 to 2013 identified by the 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey. Cause of death was assigned by physician coding and computerized expert algorithms arranged in a hierarchy. National and regional estimates of age distributions, mortality rates and cause proportions, and zonal- and age-specific mortality fractions and rates for leading causes of death were evaluated. More under-fives and 1-59 month olds in the South, respectively, died as neonates (N = 24.1%, S = 32.5%, p<0.001) and at younger ages (p<0.001) than in the North. The leading causes of neonatal and 1-59 month mortality, respectively, were sepsis, birth injury/asphyxia and neonatal pneumonia, and malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia. The preterm delivery (N = 1.2%, S = 3.7%, p = 0.042), pneumonia (N = 15.0%, S = 21.6%, p = 0.004) and malaria (N = 34.7%, S = 42.2%, p = 0.009) fractions were higher in the South, with pneumonia and malaria focused in the South East and South South; while the diarrhea fraction was elevated in the North (N = 24.8%, S = 13.2%, p< 0.001). However, the diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria mortality rates were all higher in the North, respectively, by 222.9% (Z = -10.9, p = 0.000), 27.6% (Z = -2.3, p = 0.020) and 50.6% (Z = -5.7, p = 0.000), with the greatest excesses in older children. The findings support that there is an epidemiological transition ongoing in southern Nigeria, suggest the way forward to a similar transition in the North, and can help guide maternal, neonatal and child health programming and their regional and zonal foci within the country.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0178129
JournalPLoS One
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2017

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Nigeria
Sustainable development
Autopsy
interviews
necropsy
pneumonia
Health
Interviews
Pneumonia
death
malaria
Malaria
Mortality
Diarrhea
diarrhea
Cause of Death
Birth Injuries
asphyxia
Asphyxia
Age Distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Direct estimates of cause-specific mortality fractions and rates of under-five deaths in the northern and southern regions of Nigeria by verbal autopsy interview. / Adewemimo, Adeyinka; Kalter, Henry D.; Perin, Jamie L.; Koffi, Alain K; Quinley, John; Black, Robert E.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 12, No. 5, e0178129, 01.05.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Nigeria's under-five mortality rate is the eighth highest in the world. Identifying the causes of under-five deaths is crucial to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3 by 2030 and improving child survival. National and international bodies collaborated in this study to provide the first ever direct estimates of the causes of under-five mortality in Nigeria. Verbal autopsy interviews were conducted of a representative sample of 986 neonatal and 2,268 1-59 month old deaths from 2008 to 2013 identified by the 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey. Cause of death was assigned by physician coding and computerized expert algorithms arranged in a hierarchy. National and regional estimates of age distributions, mortality rates and cause proportions, and zonal- and age-specific mortality fractions and rates for leading causes of death were evaluated. More under-fives and 1-59 month olds in the South, respectively, died as neonates (N = 24.1{\%}, S = 32.5{\%}, p<0.001) and at younger ages (p<0.001) than in the North. The leading causes of neonatal and 1-59 month mortality, respectively, were sepsis, birth injury/asphyxia and neonatal pneumonia, and malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia. The preterm delivery (N = 1.2{\%}, S = 3.7{\%}, p = 0.042), pneumonia (N = 15.0{\%}, S = 21.6{\%}, p = 0.004) and malaria (N = 34.7{\%}, S = 42.2{\%}, p = 0.009) fractions were higher in the South, with pneumonia and malaria focused in the South East and South South; while the diarrhea fraction was elevated in the North (N = 24.8{\%}, S = 13.2{\%}, p< 0.001). However, the diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria mortality rates were all higher in the North, respectively, by 222.9{\%} (Z = -10.9, p = 0.000), 27.6{\%} (Z = -2.3, p = 0.020) and 50.6{\%} (Z = -5.7, p = 0.000), with the greatest excesses in older children. The findings support that there is an epidemiological transition ongoing in southern Nigeria, suggest the way forward to a similar transition in the North, and can help guide maternal, neonatal and child health programming and their regional and zonal foci within the country.",
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