Age-specific mortality patterns in Central Mozambique during and after the end of the Civil War.
Noden, Bruce H.
Pearson, John R.C.
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Background: In recent years, vigorous debate has developed concerning how conflicts contribute to the spread of infectious diseases, and in particular, the role of post-conflict situations in the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS. This study details the age-specific mortality patterns among the population in the central provincial capital of Beira, Mozambique, during and after the Mozambican civil war which ended in 1992. Methods: Data was collected from the death register at Beira’s Central Hospital between 1985 and 2003 and descriptively analyzed. Results: The data show two distinct periods: before and after the peace agreements in 1992. Before 1992 (during the civil war), the main impact of mortality was on children below 5 years of age, including still births, accounting for 58% of all deaths. After the war ended in 1992, the pattern shifted dramatically and rapidly to the 15-49 year old age group which accounted for 49% of all deaths by 2003. Conclusions: As under-5 mortality rates were decreasing at the end of the conflict, rates for 24-49 year old adults began to dramatically increase due to AIDS. This study demonstrates that strategies can be implemented during conflicts to decrease mortality rates in one vulnerable population but post-conflict dynamics can bring together other factors which contribute to the rapid spread of other infectious diseases in other vulnerable populations.
- Health Sciences