Childhood Acute Illness and Nutrition Network
Mortality among children with acute illness in low-income and middle-income settings remains unacceptably high, according to a recent study by the Childhood Acute Illness and Nutrition (CHAIN) Network. Among diverse sites in Africa and South Asia, almost half of child mortality occurs following hospital discharge, it finds. Young children in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia who become sick or malnourished continue to have a high risk of death in the six months after being hospitalised. The study of 3,101 acutely ill children at nine hospitals in six countries across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia found that 48 percent of the 350 deaths recorded occurred within six months after discharge from the hospital. "The finding that many children die after being discharged from hospital is tragic. This calls for a review of the treatment guidelines and for home-based interventions to prevent these unfortunate deaths," said Dr Tahmeed Ahmed, executive director of icddr,b (formerly International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh) and one of CHAIN's lead researchers.