Child Mortality Initiative Expands to Three New Sites in Africa and South Asia

The Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) Network, an initiative that includes The Task Force’s Public Health Informatics Institute (PHII), has established three new sites in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa to gather data about the causes of death for children under five years old.

The new sites–Kisumu, Kenya; Harar, Ethiopia; and Baliakandi, Bangladesh–join existing sites in South Africa, Mali, and Mozambique that were established earlier this year. At each of its six sites, CHAMPS will collect, analyze, and interpret data about the causes of death for young children. The findings will help inform policies and actions to reduce child mortality.

PHII is developing the data system that will be used to capture and disseminate surveillance information from CHAMPS sites to scientists, health officials, and others.

Each year, nearly six million children under the age of five die, 80 percent of which come from South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. These deathes are largely from preventable causes, such as pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria. However, the specific causes of death are often never determined due to gaps in health surveillance, research, and data, in low- to midlde-income countries.

Through support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CHAMPS is envisioned to be a 15- to 20-site network that will develop over 20 years.

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