Epidemiological transition of infant mortality in Africa

Alejandro Aguirre, El Colegio de México

Five groups of causes of death account for over two thirds of infant deaths in practically every population of the world, both contemporay or historical. These groups of causes are: I. Diseases preventable through immunization (DPI). II. Diarrhoeal diseases (DD). III. Acute respiratory infections (ARI). IV. Perinatal conditions (PC). V. Congenital Malformations (CM). When infant mortality declines there is a change in the epidemiologic pattern; namely, some groups of causes turn less important while some others become the leading causes of infant deaths. Before the epidemiologic transition groups I, II and III are the most important. DPIs are the first group of causes to have a significant drop, leaving DD and ARI as the two leading causes of infant mortality. Compared to other regions, Africa is behind in this process. However, it is possible to accelerate the transition following the esperience of other countries.

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Presented in Poster Session 2