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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Factors associated with place of death in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Aderaw Anteneh*, Tekebash Araya and Awoke Misganaw

Author Affiliations

Addis Ababa Mortality Surveillance Program, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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BMC Palliative Care 2013, 12:14  doi:10.1186/1472-684X-12-14

Published: 26 March 2013



Dying at home is highly prevalent in Africa partly due to lack of accessibility of modern health services. In turn, limited infrastructure and health care deliveries in Africa complicate access to health services. A weak infrastructure and limited health facilities with lower quality in Ethiopia resulted poor health service utilization and coverage, high morbidity and mortality rates. We examined whether people in Addis Ababa died in health facilities and investigated the basic factors associated with place of death.


We used verbal autopsy data of 4,776 adults (age>14 years) for the years 2006–2010 from the Addis Ababa Mortality Surveillance Program (AAMSP). The main data source of AAMSP is the burial surveillance from all cemeteries in Addis Ababa. We provide descriptive statistics of place of adult deaths and discussed their covariates using multivariate analyses.


Only 28.7% died at health facilities, while the remaining died out of health facilities. There was an increase trend in the proportion of health facility deaths from 25.3% in 2006 to 32.5% in 2010. The risk of health facility death versus out of health facility deaths decreased with age. Compared with those who had no education educated people were more likely to die at health facilities. The chance of in health facility death was a little higher for females than males while religion, occupational status and ethnicity of the deceased had no any significance difference in place of death.


Both demographic and social factors determine where adults will die in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The majority of people in Addis Ababa died out of health facilities. The health system should also give special attention to the emerging non communicable diseases like cancer for effective treatment of patients.

Place of death; Health facility; Deceased; Addis Ababa