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[New York, New York], Guttmacher Institute, 2018 Apr. 2 p.The United States -- through its Agency for International Development (USAID) -- has long been a global leader in enabling women’s access to contraceptive services in the world’s poorest countries. Empowering women with control over their own fertility yields benefits for them, their children and their families. It means fewer unintended -- and often high-risk -- pregnancies and fewer abortions, which in poor countries are often performed under unsafe conditions. Better birth spacing also makes for healthier mothers, babies and families, and pays far-reaching dividends at the family, society and country levels.
Geneva, World Health Organization [WHO], 2017. 114 p.This report presents the first ever estimates of the population using ‘safely managed’ drinking water and sanitation services – meaning drinking water free from contamination that is available at home when needed, and toilets whereby excreta are treated and disposed of safely. It also documents progress towards ending open defecation and achieving universal access to basic services. The report identifies a number of critical data gaps that will need to be addressed in order to enable systematic monitoring of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets and to realize the commitment to ‘leave no one behind’.
PLoS Medicine. 2017 Jun; 14(6):e1002328.Melanie Taylor and colleagues discuss global initiatives for surveillance of sexually transmitted diseases.
Global, regional and national levels and trends of preterm birth rates for 1990 to 2014: protocol for development of World Health Organization estimates.
Reproductive Health. 2016 Jun 17; 13(1):76.BACKGROUND: The official WHO estimates of preterm birth are an essential global resource for assessing the burden of preterm birth and developing public health programmes and policies. This protocol describes the methods that will be used to identify, critically appraise and analyse all eligible preterm birth data, in order to develop global, regional and national level estimates of levels and trends in preterm birth rates for the period 1990 - 2014. METHODS: We will conduct a systematic review of civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) data on preterm birth for all WHO Member States, via national Ministries of Health and Statistics Offices. For Member States with absent, limited or lower-quality CRVS data, a systematic review of surveys and/or research studies will be conducted. Modelling will be used to develop country, regional and global rates for 2014, with time trends for Member States where sufficient data are available. Member States will be invited to review the methodology and provide additional eligible data via a country consultation before final estimates are developed and disseminated. DISCUSSION: This research will be used to generate estimates on the burden of preterm birth globally for 1990 to 2014. We invite feedback on the methodology described, and call on the public health community to submit pertinent data for consideration. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Registered at PROSPERO CRD42015027439 CONTACT: email@example.com.
Levels and trends in child mortality. Estimates developed by the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (IGME). Report 2015.
New York, New York, United Nations Children's Fund [UNICEF], 2015. 36 p.Child mortality is a core indicator for child health and well-being. In 2000, world leaders agreed on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and called for reducing the under-five mortality rate by two thirds between 1990 and 2015 - known as the MDG 4 target. In recent years, the Global Strategy for Women's and Children’s Health launched by United Nations Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon and the Every WomanEvery Child movement boosted global momentum in improving newborn and child survival as well as maternal health. In June 2012, world leaders renewed their commitment during the global launch of Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed, aiming for a continued post-2015 focus to end preventable child deaths. With the end of the MDG era, the international community is in the process of agreeing on a new framework - the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The proposed SDG target for child mortality represents a renewed commitment to the world's children: By 2030, end preventable deathsof newborns and children under five years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 deaths per 1,000 live births and under-five mortality to at least as low as 25 deaths per 1,000 live births.
Trends in maternal mortality: 1990 to 2015. Estimates by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank Group and the United Nations Population Division.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization, 2015. 100 p.In 2000, the United Nations (UN) Member States pledged to work towards a series of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including the target of a three-quarters reduction in the 1990 maternal mortality ratio (MMR; maternal deaths per 100 000 live births), to be achieved by 2015. This target (MDG 5A) and that of achieving universal access to reproductive health (MDG 5B) together formed the two targets for MDG 5: Improve maternal health. In the five years counting down to the conclusion of the MDGs, a number of initiatives were established to galvanize efforts towards reducing maternal mortality. These included the UN Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, which mobilized efforts towards achieving MDG 4 (Improve child health) as well as MDG 5, and the high-level Commission on Information and Accountability (COIA), which promoted “global reporting, oversight, and accountability on women’s and children’s health”. Now, building on the momentum generated by MDG 5, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) establish a transformative new agenda for maternal health towards ending preventable maternal mortality; target 3.1 of SDG 3 is to reduce the global MMR to less than 70 per 100 000 live births by 2030.
Global, regional, and national levels and trends in maternal mortality between 1990 and 2015, with scenario-based projections to 2030: a systematic analysis by the UN Maternal Mortality Estimation Inter-Agency Group.
Lancet. 2016 Jan 30; 387(10017):462-74.BACKGROUND: Millennium Development Goal 5 calls for a 75% reduction in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) between 1990 and 2015. We estimated levels and trends in maternal mortality for 183 countries to assess progress made. Based on MMR estimates for 2015, we constructed projections to show the requirements for the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of less than 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 livebirths globally by 2030. METHODS: We updated the UN Maternal Mortality Estimation Inter-Agency Group (MMEIG) database with more than 200 additional records (vital statistics from civil registration systems, surveys, studies, or reports). We generated estimates of maternal mortality and related indicators with 80% uncertainty intervals (UIs) using a Bayesian model. The model combines the rate of change implied by a multilevel regression model with a time-series model to capture data-driven changes in country-specific MMRs, and includes a data model to adjust for systematic and random errors associated with different data sources. RESULTS: We had data for 171 of 183 countries. The global MMR fell from 385 deaths per 100,000 livebirths (80% UI 359-427) in 1990, to 216 (207-249) in 2015, corresponding to a relative decline of 43.9% (34.0-48.7), with 303,000 (291,000-349,000) maternal deaths worldwide in 2015. Regional progress in reducing the MMR since 1990 ranged from an annual rate of reduction of 1.8% (0.0-3.1) in the Caribbean to 5.0% (4.0-6.0) in eastern Asia. Regional MMRs for 2015 ranged from 12 deaths per 100,000 livebirths (11-14) for high-income regions to 546 (511-652) for sub-Saharan Africa. Accelerated progress will be needed to achieve the SDG goal; countries will need to reduce their MMRs at an annual rate of reduction of at least 7.5%. INTERPRETATION: Despite global progress in reducing maternal mortality, immediate action is needed to meet the ambitious SDG 2030 target, and ultimately eliminate preventable maternal mortality. Although the rates of reduction that are needed to achieve country-specific SDG targets are ambitious for most high mortality countries, countries that made a concerted effort to reduce maternal mortality between 2000 and 2010 provide inspiration and guidance on how to accomplish the acceleration necessary to substantially reduce preventable maternal deaths. FUNDING: National University of Singapore, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, USAID, and the UNDP/UNFPA/UNICEF/WHO/World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction. Copyright (c) 2016 World Health Organization. Published by Elsevier Ltd/Inc/BV. All rights reserved. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Levels and trends in child mortality. Report 2015. Estimates developed by the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation.
New York, New York, UNICEF, 2015 Sep. 36 p.New estimates in Levels and Trends in Child Mortality Report 2015 released by the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME) indicate that although the global progress has been substantial, 16,000 children under five still die every day. And the 53 per cent drop in child mortality is not enough to meet the Millennium Development Goal of a two-thirds reduction between 1990 and 2015. Between 1990 and 2015, 62 of the 195 countries with available estimates met the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 target of a two-thirds reduction in the under-five mortality rate between 1990 and 2015. Among them, 24 are low- and lower-middle income countries. The remarkable decline in under-five mortality since 2000 has saved the lives of 48 million children under age five -- children who would not have survived to see their fifth birthday if the under-five mortality rate from 2000 onward remained at the same level as in 2000. Most child deaths are caused by diseases that are readily preventable or treatable with proven, cost-effective and quality-delivered interventions. Infectious diseases and neonatal complications are responsible for the vast majority of under-five deaths globally. An acceleration of the pace of progress is urgently required to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target on child survival, particularly in high mortality countries in sub-Saharan Africa. This new report is accompanied by a Lancet paper available online (Global, regional, and national levels and trends in under-5 mortality between 1990 and 2015, with scenario-based projections to 2030: a systematic analysis by the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation).
Trends in maternal mortality: 1990 to 2013. Estimates by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, The World Bank and the United Nations Population Division.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2014.  p.Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5 Target 5A calls for the reduction of maternal mortality ratio by three quarters between 1990 and 2015. It has been a challenge to assess the extent of progress due to the lack of reliable and accurate maternal mortality data -- particularly in developing-country settings where maternal mortality is high. As part on going efforts, the WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, The World Bank and the United Nations Population Division updated estimates of maternal mortality for the years 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2013.
International Perspectives On Sexual and Reproductive Health. 2013 Mar; 39(1):32-41.CONTEXT: Despite the fact that most maternal deaths are preventable, maternal mortality remains high in many developing countries. Target A of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5 calls for a three-quarters reduction in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) between 1990 and 2015. METHODS: We derived estimates of maternal mortality for 172 countries over the period 1990-2008. Trends in maternal mortality were estimated either directly from vital registration data or from a hierarchical or multilevel model, depending on the data available for a particular country. RESULTS: The annual number of maternal deaths worldwide declined by 34% between 1990 and 2008, from approximately 546,000 to 358,000 deaths. The estimated MMR for the world as a whole also declined by 34% over this period, falling from 400 to 260 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. Between 1990 and 2008, the majority of the global burden of maternal deaths shifted from Asia to Sub-Saharan Africa. Differential trends in fertility, the HIV/AIDS epidemic and access to reproductive health are associated with the shift in the burden of maternal deaths from Asia to Sub-Saharan Africa. CONCLUSIONS: Although the estimated annual rate of decline in the global MMR in 1990-2008 (2.3%) fell short of the level needed to meet the MDG 5 target, it was much faster than had been thought previously. Targeted efforts to improve access to quality maternal health care, as well as efforts to decrease unintended pregnancies through family planning, are necessary to further reduce the global burden of maternal mortality.
Sexually Transmitted Infections. 2010 Dec; 86 Suppl 2:ii62-6.BACKGROUND: In 2010 the WHO issued a revision of the guidelines on antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV infection in adults and adolescents. The recommendations included earlier diagnosis and treatment of HIV in the interest of a longer and healthier life. The current analysis explores the impact on the estimates of treatment needs of the new criteria for initiating ART compared with the previous guidelines. METHODS: The analyses are based on the national models of HIV estimates for the years 1990-2009. These models produce time series estimates of ART treatment need and HIV-related mortality. The ART need estimates based on ART eligibility criteria promoted by the 2010 WHO guidelines were compared with the need estimates based on the 2006 WHO guidelines. RESULTS: With the 2010 eligibility criteria, the proportion of people living with HIV currently in need of ART is estimated to increase from 34% to 49%. Globally, the need increases from 11.4 million (10.2-12.5 million) to 16.2 million (14.8-17.1 million). Regional differences include 7.4 million (6.4-8.4 million) to 10.6 million (9.7-11.5 million) in sub-Saharan Africa, 1.6 million (1.3-1.7 million) to 2.4 million (2.1-2.5 million) in Asia and 710 000 (610 000-780 000) to 950 000 (810 000-1.0 million) in Latin America and the Caribbean. CONCLUSIONS: When adopting the new recommendations, countries have to adapt their planning process in order to accelerate access to life saving drugs to those in need. These recommendations have a significant impact on resource needs. In addition to improving and prolonging the lives of the infected individuals, it will have the expected benefit of reducing HIV transmission and the future HIV/AIDS burden.
Sexually Transmitted Infections. 2010 Dec; 86 Suppl 2:ii93-9.BACKGROUND: Every 2 years, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) produces probabilistic estimates and projections of HIV prevalence rates for countries with generalised HIV/AIDS epidemics. To do this they use a simple epidemiological model and data from antenatal clinics and household surveys. The estimates are made using the Bayesian melding method, implemented by the incremental mixture importance sampling technique. This methodology is referred to as the 'estimation and projection package (EPP) model'. This has worked well for estimating and projecting prevalence in most countries. However, there has recently been an 'uptick' in prevalence in Uganda after a long sustained decline, which the EPP model does not predict. METHODS: To address this problem, a modification of the EPP model, called the 'r stochastic model' is proposed, in which the infection rate is allowed to vary randomly in time and is applied to the entire non-infected population. RESULTS: The resulting method yielded similar estimates of past prevalence to the EPP model for four countries and also similar median ('best') projections, but produced prediction intervals whose widths increased over time and that allowed for the possibility of an uptick after a decline. This seems more realistic given the recent Ugandan experience.
Child mortality estimation: Methods used to adjust for bias due to AIDS in estimating trends in under-five mortality.
PLOS Medicine. 2012 Aug; 9(8):e1001298.In most low- and middle-income countries, child mortality is estimated from data provided by mothers concerning the survival of their children using methods that assume no correlation between the mortality risks of the mothers and those of their children. This assumption is not valid for populations with generalized HIV epidemics, however, and in this review, we show how the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME) uses a cohort component projection model to correct for AIDS-related biases in the data used to estimate trends in under-five mortality. In this model, births in a given year are identified as occurring to HIV-positive or HIV-negative mothers, the lives of the infants and mothers are projected forward using survivorship probabilities to estimate survivors at the time of a given survey, and the extent to which excess mortality of children goes unreported because of the deaths of HIV-infected mothers prior to the survey is calculated. Estimates from the survey for past periods can then be adjusted for the estimated bias. The extent of the AIDS-related bias depends crucially on the dynamics of the HIV epidemic, on the length of time before the survey that the estimates are made for, and on the underlying non-AIDS child mortality. This simple methodology (which does not take into account the use of effective antiretroviral interventions) gives results qualitatively similar to those of other studies.
PLOS Medicine. 2012 Aug; 9(8):e1001303.Monitoring development indicators has become a central interest of international agencies and countries for tracking progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. In this review, which also provides an introduction to a collection of articles, we describe the methodology used by the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation to track country-specific changes in the key indicator for Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG 4), the decline of the underfive mortality rate (the probability of dying between birth and age five, also denoted in the literature as U5MR and 5q0). We review how relevant data from civil registration, sample registration, population censuses, and household surveys are compiled and assessed for United Nations member states, and how time series regression models are fitted to all points of acceptable quality to establish the trends in U5MR from which infant and neonatal mortality rates are generally derived. The application of this methodology indicates that, between 1990 and 2010, the global U5MR fell from 88 to 57 deaths per 1,000 live births, and the annual number of under-five deaths fell from 12.0 to 7.6 million. Although the annual rate of reduction in the U5MR accelerated from 1.9% for the period 1990-2000 to 2.5% for the period 2000-2010, it remains well below the 4.4% annual rate of reduction required to achieve the MDG 4 goal of a two-thirds reduction in U5MR from its 1990 value by 2015. Thus, despite progress in reducing child mortality worldwide, and an encouraging increase in the pace of decline over the last two decades, MDG 4 will not be met without greatly increasing efforts to reduce child deaths.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2012.  p.Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5 Target 5A calls for the reduction of maternal mortality ratio by three quarters between 1990 and 2015. It has been a challenge to assess the extent of progress due to the lack of reliable and accurate maternal mortality data -- particularly in developing-country settings where maternal mortality is high. As part of ongoing efforts, the WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and The World Bank updated estimates of maternal mortality for the years 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010.
Trends in maternal mortality: 1990 to 2008. Estimates developed by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and The World Bank.
Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization [WHO], 2010.  p.This report presents the global, regional, and country estimates of maternal mortality in 2008, and the findings of the assessment of trends of maternal mortality levels since 1990. It summarizes the challenges involved in measuring maternal mortality and the main approaches to measurement, and explains the methodology of the 2008 maternal mortality estimates. The final section discusses the use and limitations of the estimates, with an emphasis on the importance of improved data quality for estimating maternal mortality. The appendices present the sources of data for the country estimates as well as MMR estimates for the different regional groupings for WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, The World Bank, and UNPD. (Excerpt)
Current Opinion In HIV and AIDS. 2010 Jan; 5(1):97-102.PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To present the methodology used to calculate coverage of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and review global and regional trends in ART coverage. RECENT FINDINGS: There has been a steady increase in ART coverage over the last decade with a more rapid increase in recent years. Current estimates of ART coverage are 43% for adults and 38% for children (ages 0-14 years). Methods for calculating coverage rely on good-quality patient monitoring systems in countries, and well informed models are needed to estimate the number of people in need of treatment. SUMMARY: The estimated coverage rates show that ART programs have improved over the past 8 years; however, approximately 58% (53-60%) of those people in need of ART are still not on treatment. High quality data are needed to accurately measure changes in ART coverage.
International Journal of STD and AIDS. 2009 May; 20(5):295-9.A mass action model developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the re-use of contaminated syringes for medical care accounted for 2.5% of HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa in 2000. The WHO's model applies the population prevalence of HIV infection rather than the clinical prevalence to calculate patients' frequency of exposure to contaminated injections. This approach underestimates iatrogenic exposure risks when progression to advanced HIV disease is widespread. This sensitivity analysis applies the clinical prevalence of HIV to the model and re-evaluates the transmission efficiency of HIV in injections. These adjustments show that no less than 12-17%, and up to 34-47%, of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa may be attributed to medical injections. The present estimates undermine persistent claims that injection safety improvements would have only a minor impact on HIV incidence in Africa.
Sexually Transmitted Infections. 2008; 84(Suppl 1):i1-i4.This introductory article refers to the journal supplement that assembles important new data relating to several assumptions used for the new HIV and AIDS estimates. The collection of methodological papers in the supplement, aim to provide easy access to the scientific basis underlying the latest HIV and AIDS estimates for 2007.
Progress and challenges in modelling country-level HIV/AIDS epidemics: the UNAIDS Estimation and Projection Package 2007.
Sexually Transmitted Infections. 2008; 84(Suppl 1):i5-i10.The UNAIDS Estimation and Projection Package (EPP) was developed to aid in country-level estimation and shortterm projection of HIV/AIDS epidemics. This paper describes advances reflected in the most recent update of this tool (EPP 2007), and identifies key issues that remain to be addressed in future versions. The major change to EPP 2007 is the addition of uncertainty estimation for generalised epidemics using the technique of Bayesian melding, but many additional changes have been made to improve the user interface and efficiency of the package. This paper describes the interface for uncertainty analysis, changes to the user interface for calibration procedures and other user interface changes to improve EPP's utility in different settings. While formal uncertainty assessment remains an unresolved challenge in low-level and concentrated epidemics, the Bayesian melding approach has been applied to provide analysts in these settings with a visual depiction of the range of models that may be consistent with their data. In fitting the model to countries with longer-running epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa, a number of limitations have been identified in the current model with respect to accommodating behaviour change and accurately replicating certain observed epidemic patterns. This paper discusses these issues along with their implications for future changes to EPP and to the underlying UNAIDS Reference Group model.
The Spectrum projection package: improvements in estimating mortality, ART needs, PMTCT impact and uncertainty bounds.
Sexually Transmitted Infections. 2008; 84(Suppl 1):i24-i30.The approach to national and global estimates of HIV/AIDS used by UNAIDS starts with estimates of adult HIV prevalence prepared from surveillance data using either the Estimation and Projection Package (EPP) or the Workbook. Time trends of prevalence are transferred to Spectrum to estimate the consequences of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, including the number of people living with HIV, new infections, AIDS deaths, AIDS orphans, treatment needs and the impact of treatment on survival. The UNAIDS Reference Group on Estimates, Modelling and Projections regularly reviews new data and information needs and recommends updates to the methodology and assumptions used in Spectrum. The latest update to Spectrum was used in the 2007 round of global estimates. Several new features have been added to Spectrum in the past two years. The structure of the population was reorganised to track populations by HIV status and treatment status. Mortality estimates were improved by the adoption of new approaches to estimating non-AIDS mortality by single age, and the use of new information on survival with HIV in non-treated cohorts and on the survival of patients on antiretroviral treatment (ART). A more detailed treatment of mother-to-child transmission of HIV now provides more prophylaxis and infant feeding options. New procedures were implemented to estimate the uncertainty around each of the key outputs. The latest update to the Spectrum program is intended to incorporate the latest research findings and provide new outputs needed by national and international planners.
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2008 Jul; 86(7):568–576.The objective of this study was to estimate the financial resources required to achieve the 2015 targets for global tuberculosis (TB) control, which have been set within the framework of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Global Plan to Stop TB, 2006-2015 was developed by the Stop TB Partnership. It sets out what needs to be done to achieve the 2015 targets for global TB control, based on WHO's Stop TB Strategy. Plan costs were estimated using spreadsheet models that included epidemiological, demographic, planning and unit cost data. A total of US$ 56 billion is required during the period 2006-2015 (93% for TB-endemic countries, 7% for international technical agencies), increasing from US$ 3.5 billion in 2006 to US$ 6.7 billion in 2015. The single biggest cost (US$ 3 billion per year) is for the treatment of drug-susceptible cases in DOTS programmes. Other major costs are treatment of patients with multi- and extensively drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB and XDR-TB), collaborative TB/HIV activities, and advocacy, communication and social mobilization. Low-income countries account for 41% of total funding needs and 65% of funding needs for TB/HIV. Middle-income countries account for 72% of the funding needed for treatment of MDR-TB and XDR-TB. African countries require the largest increases in funding. Achieving the 2015 global targets set for TB control requires a major increase in funding. To support resource mobilization, comprehensive and costed national plans that are in line with the Global Plan to Stop TB are needed, backed up by robust assessments of the funding that can be raised in each country from domestic sources and the balance that is needed from donors. (author's)
Lancet. 2008 Jul 26; 372(9635):333-6.Funds available for HIV/AIDS programmes in low-income and middle-income countries rose from US$300 million in 1996 to $10 billion in 2007. However, a combination of worldwide economic uncertainty, a global food crisis, and publications that indicate discontent with progress in fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic will not only threaten to restrict increases in the overall availability of both donor and national funds, but will also increase the competition for resources during the move towards universal access to treatment and prevention services. Thus, UNAIDS will be under increasing pressure in its presentation and justification of resources needed for HIV/AIDS programming. Here I discuss UNAIDS' 2007 estimates of resource requirements for fighting HIV/AIDS in terms of their usefulness to both donor and recipient governments for budget planning and for setting priorities for HIV/AIDS programmes. I identify weaknesses in the UNAIDS estimates in terms of financial transparency and priority setting, and recommend changes to improve budgeting and priority setting.
Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2008 Jun; 86(6):460-466.This paper discusses the problems of defining and measuring late-fetal mortality (stillbirths). It uses evidence from 11 developed countries to trace long-term trends in fetal mortality. Issues associated with varying definitions and registration practices are identified, as well as the range of possible rates, key turning points and recent convergence. The implications for developing countries are spelt out. They emphasize the possible limitations of WHO estimation methods and survey-based data by examining the cross-sectional associations among 187 countries in the year 2000. The important role of skilled birth attendants is emphasized in both data sets, but the different effects on maternal mortality and late-fetal mortality are also noted. (author's)
Intracluster correlation coefficients from the 2005 WHO Global Survey on Maternal and Perinatal Health: Implications for implementation research.
Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. 2008 Mar; 22(2):117-125.Cluster-based studies involving aggregate units such as hospitals or medical practices are increasingly being used in healthcare evaluation. An important characteristic of such studies is the presence of intracluster correlation, typically quantified by the intracluster correlation coefficient (ICC). Sample size calculations for cluster-based studies need to account for the ICC, or risk underestimating the sample size required to yield the desired levels of power and significance. In this article, we present values for ICCs that were obtained from data on 97 095 pregnancies and 98 072 births taking place in a representative sample of 120 hospitals in eight Latin American countries. We present ICCs for 86 variables measured on mothers and newborns from pregnancy to the time of hospital discharge, including 'process variables' representing actual medical care received for each mother and newborn. Process variables are of primary interest in the field of implementation research. We found that overall, ICCs ranged from a minimum of 0.0003 to a maximum of 0.563 (median 0.067). For maternal and newborn outcome variables, the median ICCs were 0.011 (interquartile range 0.007-0.037) and 0.054 (interquartile range 0.013-0.075) respectively; however, for process variables, the median was 0.161 (interquartile range 0.072-0.328). Thus, we confirm previous findings that process variables tend to have higher ICCs than outcome variables. We demonstrate that ICCs generally tend to increase with higher prevalences (close to 0.5). These results can help researchers calculate the required sample size for future research studies in maternal and perinatal health. (author's)