Mortality overview in Zimbabwe: a Chitungwiza case study
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Mortality is an important component of population change. Its decline in the Third World during the second half of the present century has played a significant role in accelerating the rate of population growth. Although the fertility level of a country is expected to be a more decisive factor in determining future population growth rates, mortality levels are considered to be sensitive indicators of the level of development of societies and communities. Infant and child mortality rates are important indicators of health in countries lacking information on adult mortality conditions (the majority of developing countries). These rates function as important indicators of mortality of all age groups (Preston, 1985). Beyond their usefulness as health indicators, infant and child mortality rates are an essential part of demographic accounting. The birth rates and growth rates of a population cannot be known with any certainty without accurate infant and child mortality rates.