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