SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.106 issue9Primary ethmoid sinus squamous cell carcinoma in a young adult manA cross-sectional study of socioeconomic status and cardiovascular disease risk among participants in the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiological (PURE) Study author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google


SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


MATHEWS, S et al. The South African child death review pilot: A multiagency approach to strengthen healthcare and protection for children. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2016, vol.106, n.9, pp.895-899. ISSN 2078-5135.

BACKGROUND: Child mortality trends in South Africa (SA) show a decrease, but remain high and appear to have plateaued. To attain the new sustainable development goals, we need a better understanding of causes of death and the associated factors. OBJECTIVES: To describe the SA child death review (CDR) pilot, the pattern of child deaths reviewed and the factors associated with these deaths. METHODS: CDR teams were established at two pilot sites, Salt River mortuary (Western Cape Province) and Phoenix mortuary (KwaZulu-Natal Province). All child deaths were reviewed by a multidisciplinary team at the pilot sites for the period 1 January 2014 - 31 December 2014. RESULTS: The CDR pilot reviewed 711 cases. Over half (53.3%) were natural deaths, as opposed to 42.6% non-natural deaths. Most infant deaths (83.9%) were due to natural causes, while 91.7% of deaths in the 15 - 17-year-old age group were due to injuries. The leading cause of deaths reviewed (30.8%) was respiratory tract infection (RTI), mainly among infants (51.6%). Homicide was the second most common cause of death and affected children of all ages, with the highest burden (52.8%) in the 15 - 17-year age group. Child abuse and neglect accounted for 11.3% of deaths. RTI was shown to be more likely after the neonatal period (odds ratio (OR) 2.92; p<0.000) and in preterm infants (OR 1.98; p=0.005). CONCLUSIONS: CDR teams have been effective in improving identification of the causes of out-of-hospital deaths, as well as by identifying remediable factors critical to reducing child deaths further.

        · text in English     · English ( pdf )


Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License