Understanding the Drivers of Child Mortality during and after Illness in Africa and Asia

October 19, 2022 - October 19, 2022

The Child Health Task Force hosted a panel discussion with authors of the Childhood Acute Illness and Nutrition (CHAIN) Network study and partners. The study of 3,100 hospitalized children (2-23 months) across 6 countries – Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Malawi, Pakistan, and Uganda – and found that 48% of children died post-discharge and two-thirds of those died at home. The study yielded significant lessons about the risk factors for the children who die, and the critical role of multiple programmatic interventions. The authors concluded that, “despite being highly predictable, these deaths are not addressed in current guidelines. A fundamental shift to a child-centered, risk-based approach to inpatient and post-discharge management is needed to further reduce childhood mortality, and clinical trials of these approaches with outcomes of mortality, readmission, and cost are warranted.”

In response to these findings, the panelists discussed how countries address post-discharge follow-up across different levels of care, how to address risk factors through multi-sectoral programming, examples of how providers deal with high-risk families in existing programs (e.g., pediatric HIV/AIDS), and the constraints to implementing these recommendations. 


  • Jay Berkley, Professor of Paediatric Infectious Diseases, University of Oxford & KEMRI/Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kenya
  • Ezekiel Mupere, Head of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda


  • Ameena Goga, Pediatrician, Child Health and Development Units Research Team, WHO
  • Pavani Ram, Chief of Child Health and Immunization, USAID
  • Shaffiq Essajee, Senior Advisor in HIV, UNICEF


  • Dyness Kasungami, Director of the Child Health Task Force Secretariat, JSI
  • Judd Walson, Professor, Global Health, Medicine, Pediatrics and Epidemiology, University of Washington