Causes of death among persons of all ages within the Kilifi Health and Demographic Surveillance System, Kenya, determined from verbal autopsies interpreted using the InterVA-4 model

Ndila C, Bauni E, Mochamah G, Nyirongo V, Makazi A, Kosgei P, Tsofa B, Nyutu G, Etyang A, Byass P, Williams TN
Glob Health Action. 2014;7

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BACKGROUND: The vast majority of deaths in the Kilifi study area are not recorded through official systems of vital registration. As a result, few data are available regarding causes of death in this population. OBJECTIVE: To describe the causes of death (CODs) among residents of all ages within the Kilifi Health and Demographic Surveillance System (KHDSS) on the coast of Kenya. DESIGN: Verbal autopsies (VAs) were conducted using the 2007 World Health Organization (WHO) standard VA questionnaires, and VA data further transformed to align with the 2012 WHO VA instrument. CODs were then determined using the InterVA-4 computer-based probabilistic model. RESULTS: Five thousand one hundred and eighty seven deaths were recorded between January 2008 and December 2011. VA interviews were completed for 4,460 (86%) deaths. Neonatal pneumonia and birth asphyxia were the main CODs in neonates; pneumonia and malaria were the main CODs among infants and children aged 1-4, respectively, while HIV/AIDS was the main COD for adult women of reproductive age. Road traffic accidents were more commonly observed among men than women. Stroke and neoplasms were common CODs among the elderly over the age of 65. CONCLUSIONS: We have established the main CODs among people of all ages within the area served by the KHDSS on the coast of Kenya using the 2007 WHO VA questionnaire coded using InterVA-4. We hope that our data will allow local health planners to estimate the burden of various diseases and to allocate their limited resources more appropriately.