Determinants of under-five mortality in Gilgel Gibe Field Research Center, Southwest Ethiopia
Background: In developing countries like Ethiopia where there is no vital events registration system and laboratory diagnosis is lacking, causes of death in under-five children and its determinants could not be well known. The objective of this study was to investigate causes of death and its determinants in under-five children in Gilgel Gibe
Field Research Center.
Methods: A case-control study was conducted from December 12 to 27, 2005. Cases of under-five children who died between August 27, 2004 and September 22, 2005 and controls of alive children with the same age (+/-2 months) as cases were identified by a survey as the study population. Data were collected by trained enumerators using structured questionnaire adopted from World Health Organization (WHO). Causes of death were determined using the expert algorithm based on verbal autopsy data.
Results: Neonatal and infant mortality rates were respectively 38 and 76.4 per 1000 live births. The two most common causes of death during neonatal period were prematurity (26.4%) and pneumonia (22.6%). Whereas the top causes of death in post-neonatal period were pneumonia (42%), malaria (37%) and acute diarrheal diseases (30%). Maternal
education, practice and perception of mothers on the severity of illness and benefits of modern treatment were found to be independent predictor of child survival.
Conclusion: Neonatal causes, pneumonia, malaria and diarrheal diseases were the major killers of under-five children in Ethiopia. In this study, practice of mothers and perceived benefits on the modern treatment are identified as the key predictors of child survival which are amenable to future intervention.
The Ethiopian Journal of Health Development Vol. 21 (2) 2007: pp. 117-124