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Accuracy of Indirect Estimates of Maternal Mortality: A Simulation Model

Michel Garenne and Fabrice Friedberg
Studies in Family Planning
Vol. 28, No. 2 (Jun., 1997), pp. 132-142
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/2138115
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2138115
Page Count: 11
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Accuracy of Indirect Estimates of Maternal Mortality: A Simulation Model
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Abstract

A simulation model was developed to test the accuracy of indirect estimates of maternal mortality (the sisterhood method). The model generated a first generation of grandmothers, a second generation of mothers (with brothers and sisters), and a third generation of children (births). In the second generation, maternal mortality was introduced. Empirical values for the parameters of fertility and mortality were taken from a prospective survey in Senegal (Niakhar). Results based on 100 simulations of the same situation revealed several limitations of the sisterhood method: The indirect estimates could fall as far as 33 percent from the true values on individual cases; the indirect estimates tended to be systematically higher than the direct estimates; their range was wider, as were their confidence intervals; and biases were particularly strong for the younger age groups of respondents. Reasons for these biases are explored.

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