The Rwandan government commenced a program to strengthen civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) in 2008 with the aim of building a sustainable and continuous source of vital statistics. A CRVS system was established, with registration functions coordinated by the Ministries of Justice, Local Government and Health, and the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) responsible for the compilation, analysis and dissemination of vital statistics.
The ongoing concerns of the Rwandan government are the incomplete notification and registration of births and deaths that occur in the community and the large gap between the notification of births and deaths by the health facilities to the sector, and the official registration of those events. In the calendar year 2015, approximately 44% of births were notified by health facilities using the web-based system. Of these notifications, only 55% were officially registered. Overall, birth registration completeness is estimated at 25%.
For death registration, completeness is much lower, estimated at around 4%. Although deaths that occur in health facilities are notified by the health sector, in practice this is a small number because most deaths occur at home. Furthermore, available data on causes of death among deaths that were registered show that some 70% were ascribed to non-specific causes.
As part of their commitment to introduce systemic improvements in a phased and scalable manner, Rwanda will implement two interventions as part of the CRVS D4H Initiative: improving notification and registration, and implementing verbal autopsy for community deaths. These interventions will contribute to the achievement of key objectives for the government.
Interview videos with CRVS stakeholders include: