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Int J Womens Health. 2012;4:295-303. doi: 10.2147/IJWH.S32409. Epub 2012 Jul 5.

Differences in reporting of maternal and child health indicators: A comparison between routine and survey data in Guizhou Province, China.

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  • 1Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.



The quality of routine data, such as the maternal mortality ratio (MMR), infant mortality rate (IMR), and under-five mortality rate (U5MR) is often questioned. The objective of this study was to compare routine and survey data on key maternal and child health indicators, including the MMR, IMR, and U5MR in the Guizhou Province of China.


In 2008, an urban area and a rural area in the Guizhou Province were randomly selected. All households in the selected areas were included and, of the total 5466 households therein, 5459 were visited. The response rate was 99.9%. Survey data were collected from mothers (46.0%), fathers (32.5%), grandmothers (11.1%), grandfathers (9.0%), and other caregivers (1.4%). Data from routine records of the health bureaus in selected areas were reviewed for the same indicators. The Chi-square test was used to study the differences between routine data and survey data.


We found the differences between the routine and survey data live births in the survey data (68) was fewer than in the routine data (94) in the rural area, while live births in the survey data (106) was larger than in the routine data (96) in the urban area. The IMR was higher in the survey data (51.7 per thousand) as compared with routine data (31.6 per thousand). The U5MR was higher (69.0 per thousand) in the survey data than in the routine data (42.1 per thousand). Indicators related to the coverage of maternal and child health interventions were over-reported in routine data.


Small differences were observed between routine data and survey data in Guizhou, one of the poorest areas of China. The quality of routine data in urban areas was better than in rural areas.


China; maternal and child health indicators; routine and survey reporting

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