Objectives: The aim of this study is to compare the changing patterns of mortality in adults and infants during the pre-independence period 1953–1962 with the post-independence period 1962–2006 thus providing evidence for the burden of disease and the impact of independence on the state of health of
Methods: The study examined data from 1953–2006, collected under statutory regulations by the Central Statistical Office.
Results: While the population doubled during the study period, the standardized death rate improved from 16.4 to 4.5, infant mortality also declined from 70 per 1000 live births to 10.5 per 1000 live births. Mortality from selected infectious diseases also declined, however, mortality from chronic diseases continued to increase. Deaths associated with HIV increased during the 1990s, reaching a peak of 42 per 100 000 population in 2001 before declining.
Conclusion: Like the developed world, some developing countries have experienced similar transitions in the patterns of disease occurrence and thus will need to develop strategies to effectively cope with these new challenges.