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Bull World Health Organ. 1996;74(5):547-52.

Child mortality in a collapsing African society.

Author information

1
Department of Community Health, Medical Faculty, Somali National University, Mogadishu, Somalia.

Abstract

A cohort study of mortality among under-5-year-olds was carried out in two Somali villages in 1987-89, a period of economic and political collapse in the rural parts of the country. Analysed was the relative importance of the social characteristics for under-5-year-old mortality against a background of deteriorating political and economic conditions. Mortality increased among under-5-year-olds from 1987 (211 per 1000) to 1988 (323 per 1000) to 1989 (414 per 1000). The mortality risk was more pronounced for boys than girls and was more so for infants than children aged 1-4 years. The major signs prior to death were respiratory infections, diarrhoeal diseases, fever/malaria and tetanus in the neonatal period. Over the 3-year study period mortality rates for diarrhoeal diseases increased significantly, while those for respiratory infections and diseases preventable by immunization increased more slowly. The increasing trend in under-5-year-old mortality was more pronounced in instances when the mother derived her major income from sources other than farming and in larger households.

PIP:

Political and social conditions deteriorated in Somalia during the 1980s before the onset of civil war in 1990. A cohort study of mortality among children under age 5 years was conducted in Lama-Doonka and Buulalow villages during 1987-89, a period of economic and political collapse in the rural parts of the country. Mortality among the children increased from 211/1000 in 1987 to 323/1000 in 1988 and 414/1000 in 1989. Boys and infants were at greater risk of death relative to girls and children aged 1-4 years, respectively. Respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, fever/malaria, and tetanus during the prenatal period were the major signs before death. Mortality rates for diarrheal diseases increased significantly over the period, while rates for respiratory infections and diseases preventable by immunization increased more slowly. The increasing trend in under-five mortality was more pronounced when the mother derived her major income from sources other than farming and in larger households.

PMID:
9002335
PMCID:
PMC2486859
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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