MOTHERS' PERCEIVED CAUSE OF DEATH :a survey of infant mortality in Butajira, Ethiopia


  • Desta Shamebo


ABSTRACT: In an attempt to explore mother's perceptions about the causes of infant deaths, 156 mothers whose infants died before attaining their first birthday were interviewed immediately after the death of their infants. Although the causes of death were ill defined and vague in the majority of the cases, 19% attribute "evil spirits" as the main cause of death. However, they claimed that the common (42%) symptoms prior to death were vomiting/diarrhoea and cough/fever. More than half of the mothers never sought any form of health care, while only 30% visited modern health care unit. Mother's perception of the cause of death significantly (p<0.001) interfered with her decision to seek treatment. As long as causes of deaths are associated with supernatural beliefs, mothers will be reluctant to use modern medical services. The importance of IEC to raise the level of health awareness of the community and modify their attitude and behavior accordingly so as to enable them make informed decisions for timely and appropriate action is also discussed




How to Cite

Shamebo, D. (2017). MOTHERS’ PERCEIVED CAUSE OF DEATH :a survey of infant mortality in Butajira, Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 4(1). Retrieved from



Original Articles