The Under-5 child health and mortality statistics project was funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation through two grants spanning 2017–2018 and 2019–2021. The project was a collaboration between the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and Regional Research Center “Dr. Hideyo Noguchi” (CIR) at the Autonomous University of Yucatán (UADY). IHME is an independent population health research center at the University of Washington and led the evaluation components of the under-5 child health and mortality statistics project with expertise in primary data collection, technology solutions, and data analytics. The Regional Research Center “Dr. Hideyo Noguchi” (CIR), part of the Autonomous University of Yucatán (UADY) in Mérida, utilizes a multi-disciplinary approach blending medical and social sciences and a devotion to humanist principles to research issues related to health on a regional, national, and international scale. UADY provided clinical expertise in medicine and a deep understanding of the local context in Yucatán and Mexico, and led efforts to implement interventions and conduct local field work.
The cooperation of both the Secretary of Health of Yucatán, which administers local health systems in the region, and Hospital Agustín O’Horan in Mérida, the site of health facility interventions and data collection, were also critical to the success of the Under-5 child health and mortality statistics project.
The primary objectives of the project included:
- Evaluate the quality of death certification in children under 5 in the state of Yucatán by comparing the cause of death recorded from death certificates with those from both medical records and from Verbal Autopsy interviews.
- Improve the quality of cause of death certification for deaths of children under the age of 5 through the implementation and evaluation of health facility interventions at Agustín O’Horán Hospital in Mérida.
- Develop a better understanding of the factors and delays related to the search for care process for children under the age of 5.
- Improve the knowledge and recognition of alarm signs and symptoms for principal causes of death and morbidity among mothers and primary caretakers of children under 5 in order to reduce delays in the search for care through the implementation and evaluation of community-based interventions.