A low-cost, community knowledge approach to estimate maternal and jaundice-associated mortality in rural Bangladesh

Publication Type:
Journal Article
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 2018, 99 (6), pp. 1633 - 1638
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Copyright © 2018 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. In the absence of a civil registration system, a house-to-house survey is often used to estimate cause-specific mortality in low- and middle-income countries. However, house-to-house surveys are resource and time intensive. We applied a low-cost community knowledge approach to identify maternal deaths from any cause and jaundice-associated deaths among persons aged 3 14 years, and stillbirths and neonatal deaths in mothers with jaundice during pregnancy in five rural communities in Bangladesh. We estimated the method’s sensitivity and cost savings compared with a house-to-house survey. In the five communities with a total of 125,570 population, we identified 13 maternal deaths, 60 deaths among persons aged 3 14 years associated with jaundice, five neonatal deaths, and four stillbirths born to a mother with jaundice during pregnancy over the 3-year period before the survey using the community knowledge approach. The sensitivity of community knowledge method in identifying target deaths ranged from 80% for neonatal deaths to 100% for stillbirths and maternal deaths. The community knowledge approach required 36% of the staff time to undertake compared with the house-to-house survey. The community knowledge approach was less expensive but highly sensitive in identifying maternal and jaundice-associated mortality, as well as all-cause adult mortality in rural settings in Bangladesh. This method can be applied in rural settings of other low- and middle-income countries and, in conjunction with hospital-based hepatitis diagnoses, used to monitor the impact of programs to reduce the burden of cause-specific hepatitis mortality, a current World Health Organization priority.
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