Mortality rates in conflict zones in Karen, Karenni, and Mon states in eastern Burma

Thomas J. Lee, Luke C Mullany, Adam K. Richards, Heather K. Kuiper, Cynthia Maung, Christopher Beyrer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: To estimate mortality rates for populations living in civil war zones in Karen, Karenni, and Mon states of eastern Burma. METHODS: Indigenous mobile health workers providing care in conflict zones in Karen, Karenni, and Mon areas of eastern Burma conducted cluster sample surveys interviewing heads of households during 3-month time periods in 2002 and 2003 to collect demographic and mortality data. RESULTS: In 2002 health workers completed 1290 household surveys comprising 7496 individuals. In 2003, 1609 households with 9083 members were surveyed. Estimates of vital statistics were as follows: infant mortality rate: 135 (95% CI: 96-181) and 122 (95% CI: 70-175) per 1000 live births; under-five mortality rate: 291 (95% CI: 238-348) and 276 (95% CI: 190-361) per 1000 live births; crude mortality rate: 25 (95% CI: 21-29) and 21 (95% CI: 15-27) per 1000 persons per year. CONCLUSIONS: Populations living in conflict zones in eastern Burma experience high mortality rates. The use of indigenous mobile health workers provides one means of measuring health status among populations that would normally be inaccessible due to ongoing conflict.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1119-1127
Number of pages9
JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Burma
  • Civil conflict
  • Internally displaced persons
  • Landmines
  • Malaria
  • Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Parasitology
  • Immunology


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