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Institute for International Programs

Maternal, Newborn and Child Cause of Death

Estimation of deaths by cause for women, newborns and children under five (global, by country)

JHU leads this effort to provide timely estimates of the causes and determinants of neonatal and child mortality reflecting the effects of accelerated child survival interventions, and to improve knowledge of the causes of maternal mortality. 

The team is producing cause of death estimates with time trends since 2000 at multiple levels – global, regional, national level for over 190 countries, as well as subnational level estimates for selected countries (e.g. China and India). 

LSHTM, through a subgrant from JHU/IIP, is advancing the neonatal cause of death distribution previously conducted under the auspices of CHERG by improving the statistical models used to develop these estimates.  The team is producing neonatal cause of death estimates for high mortality countries at the country-level every other year, with time trends and at the regional level every year, and including more detailed causes, such as congenital subgroups and infections in the cause of death estimation.

WHO, through a subgrant from JHU/IIP, is providing the leadership in estimating global, regional, and country –level causes of maternal deaths.  At present, this effort is focused on improving the methods and underlying data necessary for making these estimates. The team will also liaise with the WHO maternal morbidity working group on defining areas of focus and establish sub-groups for focus areas, including systematic reviews on maternal morbidity due to infectious diseases and sepsis.


1. Validating hierarchical verbal autopsy expert algorithms in a large data set with known causes of death, by Henry D Kalter, Jamie Perin, Robert E Black. Data Files

2. Global, regional, and national causes of child mortality in 2000–13, with projections to inform post-2015 priorities: an updated systematic analysis. Li Liu, Shefali Oza, Daniel Hogan, Jamie Perin, Igor Rudan, Joy E Lawn, Simon Cousens, Colin Mathers and Robert E. Black. The Lancet, Early Online Publication, 1 October 2014 doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61698-6
Appendix (pdf)
Appendix (Excel)
Input data and statistical codes on the WHO Global Health Observatory website

3. Global, regional, and national causes of child mortality: an updated systematic analysis for 2010 with time trends since 2000. Liu L, Johnson HL, Cousens S, Perin J, Scott S, Lawn JE, Rudan I, Campbell H, Cibulskis R, Li M, Mathers C and R Black, for the Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group of WHO and UNICEF. Lancet. 2012. 379(9832): 2151-2161.

4.  National and subnational levels and causes of child mortality in 1996-2015 in China: implications for the Sustainable Development Goals. Chunhua He, Li Liu, Yue Chu, Jamie Perin, Li Dai, Xiaohong Li, Lei Miao, Leni Kang, Qi Li, Robert Scherpbier, Sufang Guo, Igor Rudan, Peige Song, Kit Yee Chan, Yan Guo, Robert E Black, Yanping Wang, Jun Zhu. The Lancet Global Health. 2016. doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(16)30360-6

Input data and statistical codes

5. Global, regional, and national causes of under-5 mortality in 2000–15: an updated systematic analysis with implications for the Sustainable Development Goals. Li Liu, Shefali Oza, Dan Hogan, Yue Chu, Jamie Perin, Jun Zhu, Joy Lawn, Simon Cousens, Colin Mathers, Robert E Black. The Lancet, 10 November, 2016. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31593-8
Appendix (pdf)
Input data and statistical codes

6. Understanding misclassification between neonatal deaths and stillbirths: empirical evidence from Malawi. Li Liu, Henry D. Kalter, Yue Chu, Narjis Kazmi, Alain K. Koffi, Agbessi Amouzou, Olga Joos, Melinda Munos, Robert E. Black. PLOS ONE 11, no.12 (2016): e0168743 
Public Release Dataset

7. Chapter 4: Levels and causes of mortality under age five years. Liu L, Hill K, Oza S, Hogan D, Chu Y, Cousens S, Mathers C, Stanton C, Lawn J, Black R. Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health: Disease Control Priorities, Third Edition (Volume 2). Black RE, Laxminarayan R, Temmerman M, Walker N, editors. 2016. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank: Washington (DC).

8. Causes of death in children younger than five years in China in 2015: an updated systematic analysis. Song P, Theodoratou E, Li X, Liu L, Chu Y, Black RE, Campbell H, Rudan I, Chan KY.  J Glob Health. 2016. doi: 10.7189/jogh.06.020802