OBJECTIVE: To determine trends in the causes of death in a West African town. Mortality caused by infectious diseases is reported to be declining while degenerative and man-made mortality factors are increasingly significant. Most mortality analyses for sub-Saharan Africa have involved extrapolation and have not been derived from community-based data.
METHODS: Historical data on causes of death coded by physicians were analysed for the urban population of Banjul for the period 1942-97. As the calculation of rates is not possible in the absence of a reliable population denominator, age-standardized proportional mortality ratios (PMRs) for men and women by major groups of causes of death were calculated, using the 1942-49 data for reference purposes.
FINDINGS: Most deaths were attributable to communicable diseases. There was a shift in proportional mortality over the study period: the contribution of communicable diseases declined and that of noncommunicable diseases and injuries increased. These trends were more marked among men than women.
CONCLUSION: The data illustrate that while noncommunicable diseases and injuries are emerging as important contributors to mortality in sub-Saharan Africa, communicable diseases remain significant causes of mortality and should not be neglected.
|Journal||Bulletin of the World Health Organization|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|
- Cause of Death
- Chi-Square Distribution
- Communicable Diseases/epidemiology
- Poisson Distribution
- Urban Population