Download PDFPDF

Geographic coverage of demographic surveillance systems for characterising the drivers of childhood mortality in sub-Saharan Africa
Compose Response

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Author Information
First or given name, e.g. 'Peter'.
Your last, or family, name, e.g. 'MacMoody'.
Your email address, e.g.
Your role and/or occupation, e.g. 'Orthopedic Surgeon'.
Your organization or institution (if applicable), e.g. 'Royal Free Hospital'.
Statement of Competing Interests


  • A rapid response is a moderated but not peer reviewed online response to a published article in a BMJ journal; it will not receive a DOI and will not be indexed unless it is also republished as a Letter, Correspondence or as other content. Find out more about rapid responses.
  • We intend to post all responses which are approved by the Editor, within 14 days (BMJ Journals) or 24 hours (The BMJ), however timeframes cannot be guaranteed. Responses must comply with our requirements and should contribute substantially to the topic, but it is at our absolute discretion whether we publish a response, and we reserve the right to edit or remove responses before and after publication and also republish some or all in other BMJ publications, including third party local editions in other countries and languages
  • Our requirements are stated in our rapid response terms and conditions and must be read. These include ensuring that: i) you do not include any illustrative content including tables and graphs, ii) you do not include any information that includes specifics about any patients,iii) you do not include any original data, unless it has already been published in a peer reviewed journal and you have included a reference, iv) your response is lawful, not defamatory, original and accurate, v) you declare any competing interests, vi) you understand that your name and other personal details set out in our rapid response terms and conditions will be published with any responses we publish and vii) you understand that once a response is published, we may continue to publish your response and/or edit or remove it in the future.
  • By submitting this rapid response you are agreeing to our terms and conditions for rapid responses and understand that your personal data will be processed in accordance with those terms and our privacy notice.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Vertical Tabs

Other responses

Jump to comment:

  • Published on:
    Geographic Coverage of Surveillance systems: is the Sub Saharan Africa region being misrepresented?
    • Gail C Menezes, Student University of New South Wales
    • Other Contributors:
      • Robyn Richmond, Professor of Public Health/ Associate Dean

    Dear Editor,
    We read with interest the paper: ‘Geographic coverage of demographic surveillance systems for characterising the drivers of childhood mortality in sub-Saharan Africa’ (1). This paper raises a few points that we would like to discuss (1). We focus on the authors’ extrapolation of findings from their study on children’s under five mortality [U5M] rates to the entire sub-Saharan Africa region. Other determinants we discuss include urban-rural disparities, factors that affect accessibility to health care services and the effect of political conflict in the region on under five mortality rates.
    Firstly, we discuss the use of data from the east and the west regions in Africa generalised to the entire Sub Saharan Africa [SSA] region (1). The regions covered in the analysis are represented in figure 1 of the original paper by Utazi et al. (1). They point out that civil and vital registration systems are incomplete and weak in SSA (1) which makes data derived from Health and Demographic Surveillance Systems [HDSS] more important to monitor trends and causes of under-five mortality in the region (1). Although many countries in SSA region have similar features and characteristics, analysis from a limited number of countries from either the east or the west of SSA should not be used to generalise to all countries in the SSA region (2). The disadvantages of using data generalised to the broad SSA region were discussed by Cooper et al (2). We believe the resu...

    Show More
    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.