Population mortality before and during the COVID-19 epidemic in two Sudanese settings: a key informant study.

Publication date: Mar 05, 2024

Population mortality is an important metric that sums information from different public health risk factors into a single indicator of health. However, the impact of COVID-19 on population mortality in low-income and crisis-affected countries like Sudan remains difficult to measure. Using a community-led approach, we estimated excess mortality during the COVID-19 epidemic in two Sudanese communities. Three sets of key informants in two study locations, identified by community-based research teams, were administered a standardised questionnaire to list all known decedents from January 2017 to February 2021. Based on key variables, we linked the records before analysing the data using a capture-recapture statistical technique that models the overlap among lists to estimate the true number of deaths. We estimated that deaths per day were 5. 5 times higher between March 2020 and February 2021 compared to the pre-pandemic period in East Gezira, while in El Obeid City, the rate was 1. 6 times higher. This study suggests that using a community-led capture-recapture methodology to measure excess mortality is a feasible approach in Sudan and similar settings. Deploying similar community-led estimation methodologies should be considered wherever crises and weak health infrastructure prevent an accurate and timely real-time understanding of epidemics’ mortality impact in real-time.

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Concepts Keywords
Accurate Capture-recapture
February Co-production
Models Community
Mortality COVID-19
Sudan Humanitarian
Key informant
Multiple systems estimation


Type Source Name
disease VO population
disease MESH COVID-19
disease VO time
pathway REACTOME Reproduction
disease IDO production
disease IDO country
disease VO effectiveness
disease MESH death
disease VO Gap
disease IDO process
disease MESH aids
disease IDO site
drug DRUGBANK Trestolone
drug DRUGBANK Coenzyme M
disease MESH infection
drug DRUGBANK Cysteamine
drug DRUGBANK Serine
disease IDO intervention
drug DRUGBANK Tropicamide
disease VO report
drug DRUGBANK Gold
disease IDO blood

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