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Free Content Mortality rates in conflict zones in Karen, Karenni, and Mon states in eastern Burma

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Summary Objectives 

To estimate mortality rates for populations living in civil war zones in Karen, Karenni, and Mon states of eastern Burma. Methods 

Indigenous mobile health workers providing care in conflict zones in Karen, Karenni, and Mon areas of eastern Burma conducted cluster sample surveys interviewing heads of households during 3-month time periods in 2002 and 2003 to collect demographic and mortality data. Results 

In 2002 health workers completed 1290 household surveys comprising 7496 individuals. In 2003, 1609 households with 9083 members were surveyed. Estimates of vital statistics were as follows: infant mortality rate: 135 (95% CI: 96–181) and 122 (95% CI: 70–175) per 1000 live births; under-five mortality rate: 291 (95% CI: 238–348) and 276 (95% CI: 190–361) per 1000 live births; crude mortality rate: 25 (95% CI: 21–29) and 21 (95% CI: 15–27) per 1000 persons per year. Conclusions 

Populations living in conflict zones in eastern Burma experience high mortality rates. The use of indigenous mobile health workers provides one means of measuring health status among populations that would normally be inaccessible due to ongoing conflict.

Keywords: Burma; civil conflict; internally displaced persons; landmines; malaria; mortality

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1:  Department of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA 2:  Center for Public Health and Human Rights, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore MD, USA 3:  Department of Family & Social Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA 4:  Department of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA 5:  Backpack Health Worker Team, Mae Sot, Thailand

Publication date: July 1, 2006


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