APHRC’s Researchers Contribute to Largest Ever Dataset on Individual Deaths in Africa and South East Asia

October 30, 2014

APHRC researchers have published several papers in a special issue of the journal ‘Global Health Action’, which is fully open access. The unique collection focuses on cause specific mortality and verbal autopsy, conducted in 22 different HDSS sites across sub-Saharan Africa and south-east Asia, and reveals an unprecedented insight into the changing health of people across Africa and Asia – including the fluctuating burdens of HIV, malaria and childhood mortality.

According to a release by the Wellcome Trust, more than 110,000 individual deaths and their causes across 13 countries (including Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Bangladesh and Vietnam) are contained in the new INDEPTH dataset, which is  believed to be the largest ever dataset of individual deaths recorded on the ground. The data, collected by hundreds of researchers over two decades, are the first meaningful community-based information about cause of death in countries where individual deaths are not recorded automatically by national governments.

The release goes on to say that unlike other mortality estimates (e.g. the ones made by United Nations agencies and the Global Burden of Disease project in Seattle), which are based on mathematical models, the INDEPTH estimates are based on information about real deaths in defined areas of the population. Encouragingly for researchers, the findings of INDEPTH are very similar to the outputs from the mathematical modelling techniques, indicating that they confirm each other.

You can read the full press release here, and the editorial here.

Articles from APHRC researchers can be found here:

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