Malaria deaths in India have been underestimated, new study indicates

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 22 October 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5981
  1. Ganapati Mudur
  1. 1New Delhi

A nationwide mortality survey in India has indicated that the World Health Organization’s estimates of malaria mortality are too low. But the methods of the new study, which used “verbal autopsies” to assign the cause of death, have been criticised by WHO.

The study, published on Thursday 21 October, says that malaria may be causing about 200 000 deaths a year in India among people below the age of 70 (Lancet doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)60831-8). This figure is much higher than WHO’s upper estimate of 21 000 deaths from malaria in 2006.

The survey was part of India’s million death study, which seeks to assign causes of deaths in 1.1 million homes through “verbal autopsies,” whereby two doctors attribute a probable cause of death after a scrutiny of the symptoms …

View Full Text

Sign in

Log in through your institution

Free trial

Register for a free trial to to receive unlimited access to all content on for 14 days.
Sign up for a free trial