Records of births, deaths, and people alive are some of the most important statistics that are collected and analysed by states and societies. In many developing countries, however, these records are deficient. These limitations constrain public policy, health responses, and scientific knowledge. The research project I propose, MU-MED (Measuring and Understanding Mortality, its Exposures, and its Determinants in developing countries) aims to radically improve the measurement and understanding of population health in low and middle-income countries. Contributing to the monitoring and achievement of the global Sustainable Development Goals, the project develops novel methods to measure mortality in developing countries and examine its determinants. Focusing on India in this project, I will estimate mortality rates, life expectancies, and standard errors of life table quantities at all ages from sample surveys and civil registration systems. Additionally, I will examine social determinants of mortality, calculating the first set of life expectancies by slum residence; caste, religion, and social group; and social class, as measured by household wealth and occupational categories. Finally, I will examine the impact of environmental exposures such as heat and humidity, floods, and air pollution on mortality. Together, the scientific papers from this proposal will improve scientific understanding of the level, trends, and determinants of mortality in developing countries. Because the research outlined here focuses on improving measurement of mortality, it will be of value to the wider research and global policy community. The research will inform public policy and public discussion within developing countries, as well as in global organizations such as the UN and the WHO, by suggesting intervention priorities for health improvements in developing countries. It will also help countries, researchers, and organizations assess the impact of health interventions.
Fields of science
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