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Glob Health Action. 2009 Apr 15;2. doi: 10.3402/gha.v2i0.1909.

Decreasing childhood mortality and increasing proportion of malaria deaths in rural Burkina Faso.

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  • 1Department of Tropical Hygiene and Public Health, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Malaria is the leading cause of death among children less than five years of age in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), however, precise estimates on the burden of malaria are lacking. The aim of this study was to describe temporal trends for malaria and all-cause mortality by combining a series of clinical and intervention studies conducted in Burkina Faso.

METHODS:

Data from a demographic surveillance system was used to follow-up children under five years who participated in five observational and intervention studies between June 1999 and December 2004 in rural north-western Burkina Faso. Mortality data was analyzed with cause-specific mortality ascertained using the verbal autopsy method. Person-years (PY) of observations were computed and age-standardized mortality rates (MR) for all-causes and malaria (adjusted for missing causes of death) were calculated. Rate ratios to investigate mortality variations over years were calculated using multivariate Poisson regression.

RESULTS:

The study followed 6,387 children aged less than five years (mean follow-up: 2.8 years; 16,099 PY). During the study period, 443 deaths were registered with malaria accounting for 49% of all deaths. All-cause and malaria-specific MR were 26.7 (95% CI: 24.2-29.2) and 15.8 (95% CI: 14.217.7) per 1,000 PY. All-cause MR declined over years of follow-up (from 31.2 to 16.3 per 1,000 PY in 1999/2000 to 2004, respectively) but malaria MR remained relatively stable (from 15.8 to 12.1 per 1,000 PY in 1999/2000 to 2004, respectively) resulting in an increasing relative effect of malaria on all-cause mortality. Variations in all-cause and malaria-specific mortality were observed with increasing age and across village town clusters.

CONCLUSION:

The findings of this study support the continuously decreasing trend of all-cause mortality in most of SSA, but call for more efforts to comprehensively address malaria with existing control tools such as insecticide-treated bed nets and effective first-line combination therapies.

KEYWORDS:

Burkina Faso; DSS; children under five; malaria and all-cause mortality

PMID:
20027271
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC2779934
Free PMC Article
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