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    Child mortality since the 1960s: a database for developing countries.

    United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Development. Population Division

    New York, New York, United Nations, 1992. viii, 400 p. (ST/ESA/SER.A/128)

    Available child mortality data are provided since the 1960s for 82 developing countries, arranged alphabetically, with a population of >1 million. The scope and methodology of the data, the main findings, a guide to the notation and layout of the database, and country specific profiles are included. Available data are included from many different sources without adjustment; graphs are provided. There is a brief discussion of the nature of child mortality and the methods used to measure it such as the crude death rate, age specific death rates, the infant mortality rate, <5 mortality, mortality 1-5 years, and model life tables for age specific child mortality. There is also discussion of the various data sources and estimation methods: vital registration data, prospective surveys, household surveys, prospective sample surveys, surveillance systems, retrospective questions in censuses and surveys, questions on recent household deaths by age, Brass method questions to whom on aggregate number of children born or dead, questions on women's most recent birth and survival, and maternity histories. Commentary is provided on the common index approach and the intersurvey change approach to evaluation of child mortality estimates. There is not 1 best method for measuring mortality. Countries with the most complete reporting of vital registration data are Hong Kong, Israel, Mauritius, Puerto Rico, and Singapore. Countries with incomplete data which does not provide a good measure of child mortality are Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Brass estimates which agree with vital registration data include the following countries: Costa Rica, Cuba, Kuwait, and Peninsular Malaysia. Indirect estimates which confirm vital registration data pertain to Chile and Uruguay. Brass questions provide satisfactory results in Costa Rica, Cuba, Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Sri Lanka, and Trinidad and Tobago. Underestimates are expected for Argentina and Egypt. Indirect methods applied to census data provide good estimates for 23 countries, indirect methods applied to survey data yields good estimates for 21 countries, and direct calculations from maternity histories provide good estimates for 20 countries. 17 countries have poor results from maternity histories alone. Child mortality may have fallen by >50% in developing countries between 1960-85.
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