Title: Life after death: The scale and salience of mortality in sub-Saharan Africa
Abstract: Dramatic reductions in the infant and under-five mortality rates over the last half century are among the global health community’s most notable achievements. The trends are clear and the message is positive: the world today is healthier and safer for young people than it has ever been. Sub-Saharan African countries, in particular, have experienced some of the most dramatic reductions in early life mortality. However, the all-time low infant and under-five mortality rates conceal the pervasiveness by which contemporary populations experience the phenomenon of having an infant or under-five-year-old child die—a life event that can leave parents vulnerable in myriad ways. In this talk I will introduce new population measures that capture the scale at which infant and child deaths are experienced by and dispersed across mothers in contemporary African populations. I will then demonstrate the disadvantage mothers can experience following a child’s death, and will conclude by discussing how I am extending this research with a data collection project in rural Malawi.
Co-Sponsored with the Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility Working Group