Mortality in Africa and elsewhere

ANU School of Demography Seminar

Date and Time: Tuesday 2 July 2019 – 11.30am – 12.30 pm

Location: Jean Martin Room, Beryl Rawson Bldg #13, Ellery Crescent, ANU

Presenter: Dr Sam Clark, Ohio State University

Title: A General Mortality Model & Moving Verbal Autopsy from Research to Routine Use

This seminar will have two parts. First, presentation of a formal mortality model, and second, discussion of efforts to rapidly improve information on cause of death where there are few data describing how people die.
High quality data describing all-age mortality are not available for many low and some middle-income countries, but almost all have good estimates of child mortality. I will present a general mortality model that uses child mortality to predict mortality at all ages in one-year age groups.
The distribution of deaths by cause and cause-specific mortality rates are fundamental to understanding and improving population health. About half of global deaths are unrecorded and a larger fraction do not have a meaningful cause assigned. I will discuss efforts to transform verbal autopsy from a bespoke research tool into a reliable method to assign cause of death in routine mortality surveillance at national scale in countries without well-functioning vital statistics systems.

Bio note
Sam Clark is a formal demographer who works on the demography and epidemiology of Africa and developing new methods for population sciences. Right now he is working on:
• Improving the ‘verbal autopsy’ method used to quantify the burden of disease for populations without full coverage vital statistics systems – work with colleagues at The Ohio State University, the University of Washington, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the CDC, the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, the WHO, and the ‘Data for Health’ Initiative
• Mapping child mortality at the subnational level through time using household survey data in countries without full coverage vital statistics systems – work with colleagues at the University of Washington and UNICEF
• Developing new population indicator measurement strategies and statistical methods to implement them – work with colleagues at the University of Washington
Fertility and Mortality: variety of projects investigating levels and trends in fertility and mortality, mostly in Africa, and sometimes building models of age schedules of fertility and mortality that can be used widely as inputs to other analyses.

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