Assessment of Under-5 Mortality Rates in Istanbul Using the Geographic Information System
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Objective: Analyzing mortality rates and the reasons for these in Turkey's urban allocations using geographic information systems (GISs) is a new research area. While planning health services, knowing the mortality rates and reasons according to age and residential area are a big source of information for health planners and people who provide health services. The aim of this research is to analyze the deaths of children under the age of 5 years in big cities depending on a socioeconomic range using GIS. Further, this should make it possible to determine geographically risky places. Materials and Methods: The deaths of children under the age of 5 years that occurred between 2005 and 2009 were analyzed. Date from the Turkish Statistical Institute (Turk Stat) concerning population and age-specified deaths, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) cemetery directorate death records, and the Ministry of Finance land unit prices (to determine the socioeconomic level of the districts) were used as data resources. The Z value of each year's death rate, depending on the districts age ranges and average of all years' Z values, was calculated and is shown on the map. Results: While the under-5 mortality rate was 19.37 per 1000 in 2005, it was 14.31 per 1000 in 2009. Deaths of children under the age of 5 years took place particularly in Istanbul on the European side (in districts where the land value is low). Conclusion: Priority should be given to health promotion programs in areas with a low socioeconomic level in particular where premature death rates are observed to be more common.