Half of global child deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Understanding child mortality patterns and risk factors will help inform interventions to reduce this heavy toll. The Nanoro Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS), Burkina Faso was described previously, but patterns and potential drivers of heterogeneity in child mortality in the district had not been studied. Similar studies in other districts indicated proximity to health facilities as a risk factor, usually without distinction between facility types.
Using Nanoro HDSS data from 2009 to 2013, we estimated the association between under-5 mortality and proximity to inpatient and outpatient health facilities, seasonality of death, age group, and standard demographic risk factors.
Living in homes 40–60 min and > 60 min travel time from an inpatient facility was associated with 1.52 (95% CI: 1.13–2.06) and 1.74 (95% CI: 1.27–2.40) greater hazard of under-5 mortality, respectively, than living in homes < 20 min from an inpatient facility. No such association was found for outpatient facilities. The wet season (July–November) was associated with 1.28 (95% CI: 1.07, 1.53) higher under-5 mortality than the dry season (December–June), likely reflecting the malaria season.
Our results emphasize the importance of geographical proximity to health care, distinguish between inpatient and outpatient facilities, and also show a seasonal effect, probably driven by malaria.