Biases in Survey Estimates of Neonatal Mortality: Results from a Validation Study in Urban Areas of Guinea-Bissau

from Health Economics at on March 31, 2020 at 02:30AM

Neonatal deaths (i.e., those occurring within 28 days of birth) account for close to half of all deaths among children under age 5 worldwide. In most low and middle-income countries, data on neonatal deaths come primarily from household surveys. We conducted a validation study of survey data on neonatal mortality in Guinea-Bissau (West Africa). We used records from an urban health and demographic surveillance system (HDSS) that monitors child survival prospectively, as our reference dataset. We selected a stratified sample of 599 women aged 15-49 years old among residents of the HDSS, and collected the birth histories of 422 participants. We cross-tabulated survey and HDSS data. We used a mathematical model to investigate biases in survey estimates of neonatal mortality. Reporting errors in survey data might lead to estimates of the neonatal mortality rate that are too high. This may limit our ability to track progress towards global health objectives.