Assessing the causes of under-five mortality and proportion associated with pneumococcal diseases in Cameroon. A case-finding retrospective observational study: 2006-2012.

John Njuma Libwea
John Njuma Libwea
School of Medicines
Marie Kobela
Marie Kobela
University Hospitals of Geneva
Angeline Boula
Angeline Boula
Mother and Child Center
Paul Koki Ndombo
Paul Koki Ndombo
Université de Douala

PLoS One 2019 17;14(4):e0212939. Epub 2019 Apr 17.

Mother & Child Centre (MCH), Chantal Biya Foundation, Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Background: Vital registration data outlining causes of deaths (CoD) are important for a sustainable health system, targeted interventions and other relevant policies. There is data paucity on vital registration systems in developing countries. We assessed the leading causes and proportions of under-five deaths, and particularly those related to pneumococcal infections in Yaoundé, Cameroon, using hospital registration data.

Methods: A retrospective case-finding observational study design was used to access and identify data on 817 death cases in children under-five years of age recorded in health facilities in Yaoundé, within the period January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2012. Patients' files were randomly selected and needed information including demographic data, date of admission, clinical and laboratory diagnosis, principal and/or underlying causes of death were abstracted into structured case report forms. The International Classification of Diseases and Clinical Modifications 10th revision (ICD-10-CM) codes ( 2017 edition) were used to classify the different CoD, retrospectively. Ascertainment of CoD was based on medical report and estimates were done using the Kaplan-Meier procedure and descriptive statistics.

Results: Of the 817 death records assessed, malaria was the leading CoD and was responsible for 17.5% of cases. Meningitis was the second largest CoD with 11.0%; followed by sepsis (10.0%), Streptococcus pneumoniae infections (8.3%), malnutrition (8.3%), gastro-enteritis / diarrhoea (6.2%), anaemia (6.1%) and HIV (3.5%), respectively.

Conclusion: The main CoD in this population are either treatable or vaccine-preventable; a trend consistent with previous reports across developing countries. Besides, the health effects from non-communicable infections should not be neglected. Therefore, scaling-up measures to reduce causes of under-five deaths will demand sustainable efforts to enhance both treatment and disease prevention strategies, to avoid a decline in the progress towards reducing under-five deaths by 2/3 from the 1990 baseline.

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April 2019
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