Addis Ababa Mortality Surveillance Project (AAMSP)

The Addis Ababa Mortality Surveillance Project (AAMSP) is hosted by Addis Ababa University and revolves around a surveillance of burials at all known cemeteries of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Surveillance started in 2001 and is ongoing. Basic socio-demographic information including the lay report of the cause of death is collected for about 20,000 deaths a year. Verbal autopsy interviews are conducted with relatives or caretakers of the deceased for a random sample of records. The data that have been made available for public use pertain to the first five years of the burial surveillance, including a set of adult verbal autopsy interviews that were conducted in 2004. Ad-hoc data collection initiatives (not included in this release) include a surveillance of hospital deaths (2001), and a surveillance of hospital admissions (incl. serostatus information) of patients admitted to the Zewditu Memorial Hospital (2003).

Startup funding for the burial surveillance was provided by the AIDS Foundation of Amsterdam (grant no. 7022) with additional support from the WHO (Second Generation Surveillance on HIV/AIDS, contract no. SANTE/2004/089-735). The 2004 round of verbal autopsy interviews was made possible by a Mellon Foundation grant to the Population Studies Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The continuation of the burial surveillance (not included in this public use dataset) is supported by the Centers for Disease Control.

Public Use Survey Data

The data in this public use release were collected and processed with ethical clearance from the Addis Ababa University Faculty of Medicine (Faculty Research and Publications Committee), the Ethiopian Science and Technology Agency, the Institutional Review Board of the University of Pennsylvania, the Research Ethics Review Committee of the WHO and the Human Research Committee of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Data documentation provided with this release includes:

  • Burial surveillance codebook including the surveillance form that is used at the burial sites
  • Notes about the 2004 round of verbal autopsies
  • Verbal autopsy questionnaires in Amharic (with a translation in English)

Please direct any questions to Prof. Georges Reniers.

Selected Publications

Publications where in these data are used include:

  • Tensou B, Araya T, Telake DS, Byass P, Berhane Y, Kebebew T, Sanders J, and Reniers G (2010) Evaluating the InterVA model for determining AIDS mortality from verbal autopsies in the adult population of Addis Ababa, Tropical Medicine and International Health, 15(5): 547-553.
  • Reniers G, Araya T, Davey G, Nagelkerke N, Berhane Y, Coutinho R and Sanders EJ (2009) Steep declines in AIDS mortality following the introduction of antiretroviral therapy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, AIDS, 23(4): 511-518.
  • Reniers G, Araya T, Berhane Y, Davey G, and Sanders EJ (2009) Implications of the HIV testing protocol for non-response bias in seroprevalence surveys, BMC Public Health, 9:163.
  • Reniers G and Tesfai R (2009) Health services utilization in terminal illness in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Health Policy and Planning, 24(4): 312-319.
  • Reniers G, Araya T, Schaap A, Kumie A, Kebede D, Nagelkerke N, Coutinho R, and Sanders EJ (2005) Monitoring cause-specific adult mortality in developing countries. A comparison of different data sources for Addis Ababa and its implications for policy and research, Social Science and Medicine 61(9): 1952-1957.
  • Araya T, Reniers G, Schaap A, Kebede D, Kumie A, Nagelkerke N, Coutinho R, and Sanders EJ (2004) Lay diagnosis of causes of death for monitoring AIDS mortality in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Tropical Medicine and International Health, 19(1): 178-186.
  • Sanders EJ, Araya T, Kebede D, Schaap AJ, Nagelkerke Nico D, Coutinho RA. Mortality impact of AIDS in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. AIDS. 2003;17:1209-1216


Please include the following statement in all publications that utilize AAMSP data:

This research uses public use data from the Addis Ababa Mortality Surveillance Project (AAMSP) and acknowledges the following agencies that made these data available through grants and support: the AIDS Foundation of Amsterdam (grant no. 7022), the WHO (Second Generation Surveillance on HIV/AIDS, contract no. SANTE/2004/089-735), the Mellon Foundation, the Population Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania, Addis Ababa University's School of Public Health, and the Office of Population Research at Princeton University.

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