Public Health - International Health
Recent Trends in Levels and Causes of Child Mortality in China - A Critical Assessment of the National Disease Surveillance Point (DSP) Data
Trends in levels and causes of child mortality serve as important global health indicators to guide efforts to improve child survival. According to government statistics and UN estimates, China has reached the Millennium Development Goal 4 by reducing under-five mortality by two-thirds since 1990. However, only limited is known about child cause of death in China. Recently modeled causes of death estimates have been made available by the Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group (CHERG). But empirical estimates are still largely absent in the English literature. Continuing efforts are hence needed to identify better data and methods to estimate child cause of death in China. In this study, our goal is to evaluate the usability of the more accessible National Disease Surveillance Point (DSP) data in estimating recent trends in levels and causes of child mortality. Specifically, based on the DSP 2004-2009, we aim (1) to describe, evaluate, and adjust recent trends and estimates in child mortality; and (2) to generate and evaluate empirical estimates of trends and distribution of child causes of death. The proposed project will be part of the ongoing CHERG efforts to establish the best data and methods to estimate child cause of death in China. The information is critical to assist global and national child health policy making and resources allocation. The study is also an interesting methodological exercise by employing classic and emerging demographic techniques. It further strengthens our existing collaboration with Chinese researchers and will help us to secure external funding in the future.
Robert E. Black, SPH, IH; Vladimir Canudas-Romo, SPH, PFRH