In Practice

Limitations and potential bias in vital registration data and tuberculosis mortality reporting in South Africa

M Osman, A Welte, P Naidoo, M Loveday, A C Hesseling

Abstract


Tuberculosis (TB) is a curable disease, but continues to contribute to large numbers of deaths globally and remains among the leading causes of death in South Africa (SA). Evaluating trends in TB deaths and progress towards the End TB strategy target of zero deaths is particularly important to guide policy and practice in SA. TB deaths are complicated by its relationship with HIV, and SA’s initial slow response to HIV compounded this. In considering the reported deaths in SA that identify TB as the underlying cause of death, it is important to be aware of potential limitations and sources of bias. We have examined the relationship between TB and HIV and the recording of underlying and contributing causes of death, and clarified the World Health Organization’s methodology for estimating TB deaths.


Authors' affiliations

M Osman, Desmond Tutu TB Centre, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

A Welte, DST-NRF South African Centre of Excellence in Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis (SACEMA), Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa

P Naidoo, Desmond Tutu TB Centre, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

M Loveday, Health Systems Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Durban, South Africa; Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

A C Hesseling, Desmond Tutu TB Centre, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

Full Text

PDF (224KB)

Keywords

Tuberculosis; Mortality; Vital registration systems; Bias

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2020;110(7):607-609. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2020.v110i7.14533

Article History

Date submitted: 2020-07-07
Date published: 2020-07-07

Article Views

Abstract views: 264
Full text views: 141

Comments on this article

*Read our policy for posting comments here