INDEPTH/University of Edinburgh Workshop on Pneumonia mortality data for flu modelling


This is a WHO funded project to estimate global influenza burden in children younger than five years. As part of this project, we intend to estimate overall influenza -related mortality in under five children using modelling techniques. To do this, we need data from multiple Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS) sites across Low and Middle Income Countries. We will use VA confirmed pneumonia deaths in under five children (reported in three non-overlapping age bands – 0-27 days, 28 days- 11 months, 12-59 months) for a period of at least three consecutive years. Specifically, the analyses will include only those HDSS sites that report at least 60 VA confirmed pneumonia deaths for three consecutive years in recent years (as far back as 2008). The longitudinal scope of the study will enable us to match with the most appropriate influenza surveillance data to delineate influenza seasons (which is essential for the excess mortality model).

Our current focus to explore VA confirmed pneumonia mortality data has been informed by results from our previous analyses where we used an excess mortality model to estimate influenza and RSV-related mortality in the same age group of children. During this initial exercise however, we learned that the current global influenza and RSV-related mortality estimates are modelled using very limited pneumonia mortality data in the community. The analyses we will undertake during this workshop seek to address this gap in research. Further, if we are able to demonstrate that VA confirmed pneumonia mortality data are available from a large number of sites in low and middle-income countries (through INDEPTH network), this could support a grant application to the Gates Foundation to systematically collect RSV and influenza seasonality data at the sites to improve the current mortality estimates.

The results from the planned analyses will be submitted to the Lancet. We hope to include one investigator from each contributing site as an author on the manuscript. Our previous manuscripts on influenza, RSV and pneumonia burden have been published by the Lancet and have been widely cited. We are hopeful that Lancet would consider this manuscript too for publication.

Funders: University of Edinburgh


·         Professor Harry Campbell, Centre for Global Health Research, Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, University of Edinburgh

·         Professor Harish Nair, Centre for Global Health Research, Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, University of Edinburgh

  Name HDSS/Institution Position Picture Biosketch
1 Marylene Wamukoya Nairobi  HDSS, Kenya Data Analyst, DSS Data Manager, DSS Project Manager    Biosketch
2 Tadesse Alemayehu Wondim Kersa/Harar, Ethiopia  


3 Quique Bassat Manhica HDSS, Mozambique      Biosketch
4 Raphael Omuga Kombewa HDS, Kenya      Biosketch
5 Sandra Chaves Kisumu HDSS, Kenya      Biosketch
  Alberta Amu Dodowa HDSS, Ghana      
  Dr Millogo Ourohiré Nouna HDSS, Burkina Faso      
  Ba El-hadji Niakhar HDSS, Senegal     Biosketch 
  Partha Haldar Ballabgarh HDSS, India      
  Alemseged Aregay Kilite-Awlaelo HDSS, Ethiopia