Verbal autopsy: a tool for determining cause of death in a community

Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health (East Africa)


Verbal autopsy was used to determine causes of death in 239 Kenyan children under the age of 5 years. The diagnosis derived from verbal autopsy was corroborated with hospital diagnosis in 39 cases. There was concurrence of diagnosis in 72% of the cases. Using the diagnosis of bronchopneumonia to validate the method, verbal autopsy was found to have a sensitivity of 71%, specificity of 92%, and a positive predictive value of 85%. Recall period up to 29 months after death was found to be reliable.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication ( Name of Journal)

East African Medical Journal