Tanzania has demonstrated an increased commitment to civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) system improvement, as reflected in its five-year country CRVS strategy (2015 to 2020). However, key stakeholders and governance mechanisms for CRVS are poorly linked, resulting in incomplete and inadequate data sources for informing policy-making.
Completeness of registration of vital events is low. In 2014, about 26% of births, and 10% of deaths were registered. In addition to poor coverage and completeness, representativeness and quality of cause of death (COD) data are significant issues, with a COD recorded for only 5% of deaths in 2014. Tanzania must address significant system re-design and governance issues before a well-functioning CRVS system is in place.
In collaboration with the Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative, the country has been working on seven interventions to improve system performance that aim to: 1) optimise the final design of Tanzania’s future CRVS system and governance mechanisms; 2) introduce verbal autopsy in a scalable and sustainable manner for recording COD for deaths where there is no physician; and 3) make sustainable improvements to medical certification of COD training. These interventions are part of the long term strategic plan for CRVS improvement.
Interview videos with CRVS stakeholders include:
Emmy K. Hudson, Ag. Chief Executive Officer, Registration Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency; Cuthbert Simalenga, Director for ICT, Registration Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (Improving our understanding of births and deaths in Tanzania)
Gregory Kabadi, Country Coordinator, Data for Health Initiative (Verbal autopsy's evolution in Tanzania)
Edward Mbanga, Ag. Director for Policy and Planning Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (Tanzanian Ministry of Health perspective: How is Data for Health doing?)
Godfrey Semu, Health Record and Information Officer Muhimbili National Hospital; James Mwanza, Project Officer Tanzania (Educating Tanzanian physicians on the value of accurate assignments for underlying cause of death; Challenges to timely and sensitive death certification in Tanzania)