Completeness and Quality of the Maputo Mortuary Dataset

Authors: Kavi Bhalla, Jerry P Abraham and Kidist Bartolomeos

Date: September 14, 2010

Objective: To do a crude test of the completeness and quality of the Maputo Central Hospital Mortuary dataset

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


- The quality of cause of death attribution of the dataset is high with a relatively small number of deaths assigned to unspecified causes.

- Results suggest that the number of deaths recorded in the mortuary exceeds the expected number of injury deaths in the city. Further investigations are necessary.


- Data Source: Maputo Central Hospital Mortuary Records. The dataset contained records for ten years, 1994-2003. Only data from the year 2003 was used in this completeness test.

- Note that the database was retrospectively constructed from existing mortuary records.

- This mortuary database only contains predominantly injury cases. Out of the total 12,354 deaths in the database from 1994-2003, only 5% are from non-injury causes (listed as “natural” deaths).

Assessment of Quality of Injury Coding (see Table 1)

· See Table 1 for distribution of injury deaths

· The quality of cause of death attribution in the dataset is high with relatively few cases assigned to partially-specified cause categories.

o Overall intent is unknown for 13% of deaths. However, even within this category, the mechanism is known for 62% of the cases.

o The unknown mechanism category within the unintentional, self-inflicted and inter-personal categories is negligibly small.

· However, note that sub-categories (i.e. road users) of road injury are not available.

Table 1: External cause distribution of deaths in the Maputo Mortuary Dataset

Assessment of Completeness

· Age aggregation: The assessment focuses on deaths among young adults aged between 15-49 years in Maputo City. Note that the choice of age-group (15-49 years) analyzed is based on the age aggregation used in the INCAM-2007 report.

TABLE 2: Assessment of completeness of the Maputo mortuary dataset (Year 2000)

This comparison suggests that the number of deaths in the mortuary far exceeds the number of injury deaths in the city of Mortuary. This is unexpected. We should take a closer look to check if the Mortuary receives many cases from outside of Maputo city.