Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
BMC Public Health. 2005 Jun 3;5:58.

The use of simplified verbal autopsy in identifying causes of adult death in a predominantly rural population in Ethiopia.

Author information

  • 1Department of Community Health, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia. kidestlulu@yahoo.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Information on adult mortality is essentially non-existent in Ethiopia particularly from rural areas where access to health services is limited and most deaths occur at home. This study was conducted with the aim of identifying causes of adult death in a rural population of Ethiopia using a simplified verbal autopsy instrument.

METHODS:

All deaths in the age-group 15-49 years during the period of 1995-99 were taken from computerized demographic surveillance database maintained by the Butajira Rural Health Program. Data on the causes of death were collected from close relatives of the deceased persons by lay interviewers. Causes of death were diagnosed using "expert algorithm" programmed onto a computer.

RESULTS:

The major causes of death were acute febrile illnesses (25.2%), liver diseases (11.3%), diarrheal diseases (11.1%), tuberculosis (9.7%) and HIV/AIDS (7.4%). Overall communicable diseases accounted for 60.8% of the deaths. The high levels of mortality from communicable diseases reflect the poor socioeconomic development of the country, and the general poor coverage of health and education services in rural Ethiopia. The tools used in this study can easily be added-on to the numerous health surveys conducted in the country.

CONCLUSION:

The simplified approach to verbal autopsy diagnosis can produce useful data that can effectively guide priority health interventions in rural areas where routine information system is either very weak or non-existent.

PMID:
15935096
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1164421
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk