Strengthening community networks for vital event reporting: Community-based reporting of vital events in rural Mali

Melinda K. Munos, Alain K. Koffi, Hamadoun Sangho, Mariam Guindo Traoré, Masseli Diakité, Romesh Silva, Seydou Doumbia, Assa Keita, Haoua Keita, Ibrahim Terera, Robert Black, Jennifer Bryce, Olga Joos, Alain Koffi, Emily Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Like many developing countries, Mali has few sources of mortality data. High quality mortality estimates are available from household surveys, such as the demographic and health surveys (DHS), approximately every five years, making it difficult to track progress in reducing mortality. The Rapid Mortality Monitoring (RMM) project in Mali aimed to address this issue by testing a community-based approach to measuring under-five mortality on a yearly basis. Methods and Findings Seventy-eight community-based workers (relais) were identified in 20 villages comprising approximately 5,300 households. The relais reported pregnancies, births, and under-five deaths from July, 2012 to November, 2013. Data were double-entered, reconciled, cleaned, and analyzed monthly. In November-December 2013, we administered a full pregnancy history (FPH) to women of reproductive age in a census of the households in the project villages. We assessed the completeness of the counts of births and deaths, and the validity of under-five, infant, and neonatal mortality rates from the community-based method against the retrospective FPH for two rolling twelve-month periods. Monthly reporting by relais was high, with reports on pregnancies, births, and deaths consistently provided from all 78 relais catchment areas. Relais reported 1,660 live births and 276 under-five deaths from July, 2012 to November, 2013. The under-five mortality rate calculated from the relais data was similar to that estimated using the validation survey, where the overall ratios of the community- based to FPH-based mortality rates for the reporting periods were 100.4 (95% CI: 80.4, 120.5) and 100.8 (95% CI: 79.5, 122.0). Conclusions On a small scale, the community-based method in Mali produced estimates of annualized under-five mortality rates that were consistent with those obtained from a FPH. The community-based method should be considered for scale-up in Mali, with appropriate measures to ensure community engagement, data quality, and cross-validation with comparable FPHs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0132164
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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