The main objective of this study was to elicit proportional cause specific mortality in the underfives in the urban slums of Lucknow in North India. The families with under five mortality in the 28 randomly selected slums in 1993 were located from the records of the slum health workers and verbal autopsy was conducted to assign a cause of death.
There were 71 deaths among 2796 children. The annual under five mortality was 25.4 and the under five mortality rate was 126.7. After the neonatal period, “high fever” that could not be classified into any other disease incorporated in the verbal autopsy instrument, was the most common symptom associated with death, seen in 21.1% cases (95% C.I.: 15.5–34.4%) followed by these diseases: pheumonia in 19.7%, diarrhea in 18.3% and measles in 11.4%.
“High fever” as the leading symptom associated with death is being reported for the first time from the urban slums of India. There is an urgent need to identify the underlying etiologies of death due to “high fever” and the policy implications are that children with fever must receive immediate and continued medical attention till the symptom persists.
Proportional cause specific under five mortalityUnder five mortality rateUrban slums