The overlapping burden of the three leading causes of disability and death in sub-Saharan African children

LBD Triple Burden Collaborators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Despite substantial declines since 2000, lower respiratory infections (LRIs), diarrhoeal diseases, and malaria remain among the leading causes of nonfatal and fatal disease burden for children under 5 years of age (under 5), primarily in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The spatial burden of each of these diseases has been estimated subnationally across SSA, yet no prior analyses have examined the pattern of their combined burden. Here we synthesise subnational estimates of the burden of LRIs, diarrhoea, and malaria in children under-5 from 2000 to 2017 for 43 sub-Saharan countries. Some units faced a relatively equal burden from each of the three diseases, while others had one or two dominant sources of unit-level burden, with no consistent pattern geographically across the entire subcontinent. Using a subnational counterfactual analysis, we show that nearly 300 million DALYs could have been averted since 2000 by raising all units to their national average. Our findings are directly relevant for decision-makers in determining which and targeting where the most appropriate interventions are for increasing child survival.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7457
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was primarily supported by grant OPP1132415 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The corresponding author had full access to all the data in the study and had final responsibility for the decision to submit for publication. The non-consortium authors have no competing interests . Competing interests for consortium authors is as follows: Robert Ancuceanu reports receiving consultancy or speaker feeds from UCB, Sandoz, Abbvie, Zentiva, Teva, Laropharm, CEGEDIM, Angelini, Biessen Pharma, Hofigal, AstraZeneca, and Stada. Jacek Jerzy Jozwiak reports personal fees from Amgen, ALAB Laboratories, Teva, Synexus, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Zentiva, all outside the submitted work. Kewal Krishan reports non-financial support from UGC Centre of Advanced Study, CAS II, Department of Anthropology, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India, outside the submitted work. Walter Mendoza is a Program Analyst in Population and Development at the United Nations Population Fund-UNFPA Country Office in Peru, which does not necessarily endorse or support these findings. Maarten J Postma reports grants and personal fees from MSD, GSK, Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Novavax, BMS, Seqirus, Astra Zeneca, Sanofi, IQVIA, grants from Bayer, BioMerieux, WHO, EU, FIND, Antilope, DIKTI, LPDP, Budi, personal fees from Novartis, Quintiles, Pharmerit, owning stock options in Health-Ecore and PAG Ltd, and being advisor to Asc Academics, all outside the submitted work. Jasviner A Singh reports personal fees from Crealta/Horizon, Medisys, Fidia, UBM LLC, Trio health, Medscape, WebMD, Clinical Care options, Clearview healthcare partners, Putnam associates, Focus forward, Navigant consulting, Spherix, Practice Point communications, the National Institutes of Health, the American College of Rheumatology, and Simply Speaking, owning stock options in Amarin, Viking, Moderna, Vaxart pharmaceuticals and Charlotte’s Web Holdings, being a member of FDA Arthritis Advisory Committee, the steering committee of OMERACT, an international organization that develops measures for clinical trials and receives arm’s length funding from 12 pharmaceutical companies, and the Veterans Affairs Rheumatology Field Advisory Committee, and acting as Editor and Director of the UAB Cochrane Musculoskeletal Group Satellite Center on Network Meta-analysis, all outside the submitted work. Era Upadhyay has a patent A system and method of reusable filters for anti-pollution mask pending, and a patent A system and method for electricity generation through crop stubble by using microbial fuel cells pending.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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