To estimate baseline infant and child mortality in Liberia, a survey was carried out in 1984 as part of the Combatting Childhood Communicable Diseases (CCCD) project. The project, a collaborative effort of the Liberian Ministry of Health, the US Agency for International Development, and the US Centers for Disease Control, is aimed at reducing childhood morbidity and mortality through oral rehydration therapy, vaccination and treatment for malaria. As a measure of programme impact, mortality estimates from this survey will be compared with those from a second survey after 4-5 years. A sample of 40 clusters (50-70 households per cluster) was used. The size is sufficient to detect a 25% reduction in mortality of children under 5 years of age. Mortality was estimated from a pregnancy history questionnaire asked of women aged 15-49 residing in cluster households. A reliability survey was conducted and pregnancies were matched to determine the level of omission of births and deaths. Results show a very high level of mortality with a risk of death in infancy above 20% and a risk of dying before the fifth birthday of one-third. Since the extent of omission of deaths in the first survey proved substantial, the reinterview survey was essential.
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