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Int J Epidemiol. 1993 Feb;22(1):72-80.

Rapid decline in child mortality in a rural area of Senegal.

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1
Musée de l'Homme, Paris, France.

Abstract

Retrospective and prospective demographic and health data collected on the population of Mlomp (6352 people in 1985), a rural area of Senegal, show that the probability of dying before the age of 5 years declined from 350 to 81 deaths per hundred livebirths in the last 25 years. This decline is greater and faster than ever observed in Senegal. The drop in mortality mainly results from improved access to new and efficient health services--a dispensary and a maternity clinic--and from growth surveillance, health education, vaccination and malaria programmes initiated in the 1960s and 1970s. Although socioeconomic conditions have changed in the area, the influence of classical factors such as women's educational level and improvement in transportation has probably been limited. Deaths from diseases that can be prevented by immunization (such as neonatal tetanus, measles, whooping cough) are now very rare (3% of the deaths of children under 5 years during the period 1985-1989). Although the risks of dying from diarrhoea or acute respiratory infections are much lower than in other rural areas of Senegal, these are still the main causes of deaths (33% and 19% of deaths after 1 month of age). Malaria, despite its high morbidity during the rainy season, causes few deaths (4%). This reflects the success of the health education programme promoting chemoprophylaxis and early treatment of fever cases. Mlomp is one example of an African rural area where the provision of well-organized health services at a reasonable cost has produced a dramatic decline in child mortality.

PMID:
8449650
DOI:
10.1093/ije/22.1.72
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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