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Global Health
December 20, 2016

Sub-Saharan Mortality Hotspots for Children Younger Than 5 Years

JAMA. 2016;316(23):2473. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.18558

Tracking child mortality rates at a local level—rather than at the national level—helped identify local hotspots within 28 sub-Saharan African countries where more than 15 million children younger than 5 years are dying at higher than expected rates, according to a report from a US team of investigators.

Researchers typically monitor mortality in children younger than 5 years at the national level, especially in low- and middle-income countries, but targeting interventions to areas of highest need calls for a finer-grained focus to identify where children are dying. In this study, the researchers analyzed trends in child mortality at subnational levels. Using data from the Demographic and Health Surveys on the location and timing of 3.24 million births and 393 685 deaths of children younger than 5 years across 28 sub-Saharan African countries, they developed high-resolution spatial maps of mortality from the 1980s through the 2000s.

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