Completeness and Quality of Addis Ababa Mortuary Data

Authors: Kavi Bhalla, Jerry P Abraham and Kunuz Abdella

Date: July 6, 2010

Objective: To do a crude test of the completeness and quality of the Addis Ababa Mortuary dataset

Method: The number of deaths in the mortuary records was compared with an estimate of the number of deaths expected in the Addis Ababa metropolitan area


- The mortuary dataset captures a substantial fraction of injury deaths in Addis Ababa (43% by this assessment)

- The quality of the data is high with relatively few deaths assigned to partially specified causes.


- Data Source Analyzed: Menelik II Hospital Mortuary records, 1 year (June 2006-July 2007)

- Analysis in this report should be repeated with Census 2007 data:

o The analysis in this report uses crude estimates of population and mortality in Addis Ababa. Typically these have been extrapolated from estimates available for the country in international databases. Accurate data for population and mortality in Addis Ababa will be available from the 2007 Census. This analysis should be updated when these estimates are available. (Note that the 2007 Census includes a question on household deaths but unlike some other censuses does not ask if the death was due to injury/violence)

- Injury cases comprise 100% of the deaths in the mortuary dataset.

Assessment of Quality of Injury Coding

- Dump codes within unintentional injuries

o Unspecified unintentional injuries account for 5% of all injuries (9% of unintentional injuries). This is relatively small.

o Undetermined Intent account for 3% of the cases. This too is relatively small.

TABLE 1: Distribution of external causes in the mortuary dataset

Assessment of Completeness

Coverage assumptions: As shown in Table 1, the Mortuary receives cases from both inside and outside Addis Ababa. Half of the cases for which location was specified are from within Addis Ababa. Thus, for the comparison in Table 2, we assume that half of the mortuary cases are from Addis Ababa.

Age aggregation: The assessment focuses on deaths among young adults aged between 15-59 years in Addis. This was done to reduce uncertainty in this analysis. (Injuries occur primarily among young adults and the high mortality among children and older adults can add substantial uncertainty to analysis)

TABLE 2: Assessment of completeness of the Addis Ababa Mortuary dataset