The first objective of this paper is to describe and offer support to our method of investigating the effect of prime-age mortality on rural households by adding a mortality component to ongoing nationally-representative household surveys. The second objective is to investigate who is afflicted with prime-age mortality due to illness, by analyzing the characteristics of the deceased individuals (gender, age, and position within the household at the time of death) and of the affected households (geographic location, and ex post income and landholding). This information can provide valuable insight to improve the targeting and effectiveness of HIV prevention programs. The third objective is to investigate how the households with PA death or illness respond by adjusting household composition and their agricultural activities. To this end, information on household demographics for the 1999-2002 period is used to analyze changes in household size and composition over this period for both affected and non-affected households. The information from the death/departure and illness demographic sections regarding household response strategies are then evaluated by characteristics of the deceased individual (such as gender and position in the household) as well as of the household (such as income, landholding, etc.) to better understand the factors that influence the choice of adjustment response. The final objective of the paper is to discuss the implications of household responses to prime-age death for agricultural policies and programs, and for their role in mitigating the effects of prime-age adult mortality.


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