Child Mortality Estimation: Methods Used to Adjust for Bias due to AIDS

This article is entitled Child Mortality Estimation: Methods Used to Adjust for Bias due to AIDS in Estimating Trends in Under-Five Mortality, published by Neff Walker, Kenneth Hill and Fengmin Zhao.

Estimates of child mortality are based on population based surveys that usually depend upon the histories given by mothers. But this method does not account for the mothers who have died or migrated out of the population. Moreover, for periods long before the survey, births to older mothers will also not be represented because these mothers will have been age 50 or over at the time of the survey and therefore not included. Normally this bias would be small but in areas having a substantial burden of HIV, this would account for a significant bias, as HIV-positive children will be more likely to die than other children, and their deaths will be less likely to be reported since their mothers will have also been more likely to die.

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Bookmarked by Jai K Das on 3 Oct 2012

There is evidence that a young child's risk of dying increases following the mother's death, but little is known about the risk when the mother becomes very ill prior to her death. We hypothesized that children would be more likely to die during the period several months before their mother's death, as well as for several months after her death. Therefore the authors in this paper investigated the relationship between young children's likelihood of dying and the timing of their mother's death and, in particular, the existence of a critical period of increased risk.

28th March 2013 • comment