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Vision et Ambition

Notre vision Contribuer à l’amélioration de la santé de la reproduction, notamment celle de la mère et de l’enfant au Burkina Faso et dans la sous–région ouest Africaine. Nos missions Servir de guide opérationnel pour l’action aux structures, instituts, organisations intervenant dans le domaine de la santé de la reproduction ; Servir de cadre (...)

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Revealing the burden of maternal mortality : a probabilistic model for determining pregnancy-related causes of death from verbal autopsies


Fottrell E, Byass P, Ouedraogo TW, Tamini C, Gbangou A, Sombié I, Högberg U, Witten KH, Bhattacharya S, Desta T, Deganus S, Tornui J, Fitzmaurice AE, Meda N, Graham WJ. Revealing the burden of maternal mortality : a probabilistic model for determining pregnancy-related causes of death from verbal autopsies. Population health Metrics 2007 ; 5,1


Substantial reductions in maternal mortality are called for in Millennium Development Goal 5 (MDG-5), thus assuming that maternal mortality is measurable. A key difficulty is attributing causes of death for the many women who die unaided in developing countries. Verbal autopsy (VA) can elicit circumstances of death, but data need to be interpreted reliably and consistently to serve as global indicators. Recent developments in probabilistic modelling of VA interpretation are adapted and assessed here for the specific circumstances of pregnancy-related death.

A preliminary version of the InterVA-M probabilistic VA interpretation model was developed and refined with adult female VA data from several sources, and then assessed against 258 additional VA interviews from Burkina Faso. Likely causes of death produced by the model were compared with causes previously determined by local physicians. Distinction was made between free-text and closed-question data in the VA interviews, to assess the added value of free-text material on the model’s output.

Following rationalisation between the model and physician interpretations, cause-specific mortality fractions were broadly similar. Case-by-case agreement between the model and any of the reviewing physicians reached approximately 60%, rising to approximately 80% when cases with a discrepancy were reviewed by an additional physician. Cardiovascular disease and malaria showed the largest differences between the methods, and the attribution of infections related to pregnancy also varied. The model estimated 30% of deaths to be pregnancy-related, of which half were due to direct causes. Data derived from free-text made no appreciable difference.

InterVA-M represents a potentially valuable new tool for measuring maternal mortality in an efficient, consistent and standardised way. Further development, refinement and validation are planned. It could become a routine tool in research and service settings where levels and changes in pregnancy-related deaths need to be measured, for example in assessing progress towards MDG-5.

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  Publication AFRICSanté

RESEARCH ARTICLE Prevalence of and Factors Associated with Human Cysticercosis in 60 Villages in Three Provinces of Burkina Faso

Hélène Carabin1*, Athanase Millogo2, Assana Cissé3, Sarah Gabriël4, Ida Sahlu5,6, Pierre Dorny4, Cici Bauer7, Zekiba Tarnagda8, Linda D Cowan1†, (...)

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RESEARCH ARTICLE :The obstetric care subsidy policy in Burkina Faso : what are the effects after five years of implementation ? Findings of a complex evaluation

Rasmané Ganaba1*, Patrick G. C. Ilboudo1, Jenny A. Cresswell2, Maurice Yaogo1, Cheick Omar Diallo3, Fabienne Richard4, Nadia Cunden5, Veronique (...)

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