The Use of Capture-Recapture Method for Evaluating the Completeness of Burial Surveillance in Addis Ababa

Biruk T. Tessema, Addis Ababa Mortality Surveillance Program
Tekebash Araya, Addis Ababa University
Tolcha Kebebew, Addis Ababa University

A necessary component of public health strategies is to get accurate information. In this study we implemented capture-recapture method to evaluate the completeness of burial surveillance using an independent data source called Iddir surveillance. Iddirs are indigenous voluntary associations established to provide mutual aid in burial matters. All cemeteries within the city limit are included in the burial surveillance. The burial surveillance was initialized in 2001 and registers deaths continuously. Registration of deaths is also conducted on a random sample of 100 Iddirs in 2009. Both surveillance collect identifiers of the decedent independently. We used the Iddir surveillance as capturing and the burial surveillance as re-capturing. The burial surveillance captured 97% of the deaths reported from Iddirs. Majority of the deaths reported from Iddirs but not captured at the burial sites are buried outside of the city. Causes of deaths such as drowning are not captured at the burial sites.

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Presented in Poster Session 2