Health Challenges and Systems

Infectious and Non-Communicable Diseases

Health is the backbone of a nation. Sub-Saharan Africa bears a disproportionate burden of ill-health, and health remains largely under-funded by many governments in the region. In 2010, HIV/AIDS claimed up to 1.2 million lives in sub-Saharan Africa and a further 22.9 million people, including 2.3 million children, were living with HIV/AIDS. The region is also now increasingly threatened by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive respiratory disease.



Current Project


Verbal Autopsy (VA) Studies for Cause of Death Ascertainment in the Nairobi Urban Health and Demographic Surveillance System

Program: Health Challenges and Systems

Developing countries generally lack complete vital registration systems that can produce cause-of-death information for health planning in their populations. As an alternative, Verbal Autopsy (VA) – the process of interviewing family members or caregivers on the circumstances leading to a death, is often used by Demographic Surveillance Systems (DSS) to generate COD data. The aim of the VA project is to collect, analyze and report mortality data in order to describe the burden of disease profile in the informal settlements of Nairobi, Kenya.



  • INDEPTH Network


Project period

  • Start Date: January 2003
  • End Date: Ongoing as long as NUHDSS is operational


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