Is Neonatal Mortality Misreported in the DHS Surveys? A Model-Based Approach

Andrea Verhulst , University of Pennsylvania
Julio E. Romero Prieto, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
Michel Guillot, University of Pennsylvania

The SGDs target the reduction of neonatal mortality to 12 per 1000 live births along with the reduction under-five mortality to 25 per 1000 live births by 2030. Monitoring these two indicators is challenging because in most of countries the vital registration system is not complete. In these countries, the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) have been the main alternative data source. However, the retrospective birth histories collected in DHS surveys suffer potential reporting errors. The omission and misclassification of the neonatal deaths is a particular subject of concern. In this paper, we evaluate these reporting errors using a modeling approach that takes advantage of a recently-compiled international database for under-five mortality by detailed age. Preliminary results suggest that DHS-based estimates of neonatal mortality (and, consequently, under-five mortality) can be affected by a large amount of reporting errors and thus will often need to be adjusted prior to analysis.

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 Presented in Session P3. Poster Session Migration, Economics, Environment, Methods, History and Policy