Annual Rates of Decline in Child, Maternal, Tuberculosis, and Noncommunicable Disease Mortality Across 109 Low-and Middle Income Countries from 1990 to 2015

Authors: Osondu Ogbuoji, Jinyuan Qi, Zachary Olson, Gavin Yamey, Rachel Nugent, Ole Norheim, Stéphane Verguet, Dean Jamison


The historical rates of decline in rates of under-five, maternal, tuberculosis, and noncommunicable disease (NCD) mortality for 109 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are studied in this chapter, providing a graphical overview of findings by country income group and identifying countries with the best and worst performance and regions in which performance had changed rapidly, either improving or deteriorating. Rates of change in health analysis remains useful because rapid alterations in rates of decline—whether accelerations or decelerations—can point to a potential effect of policy changes and provide a mechanism for understanding what constitutes good policy. Almost no correlation exists between number of deaths and rate of decline in mortality, which suggests rates of change augment the information conveyed by mortality estimates but cannot replace the examination of number of deaths, particularly with regard to capturing the underlying intensity of country-level mortality. The rates of decline in mortality prove useful in testing the feasibility of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a particular focus on the 2030 targets.