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What is CRVS and why does every country need it?


Because CRVS systems are permanent, the data they generate are not only available continuously, but also consistently over long periods, permitting the construction of historical time series, as shown in the example of maternal mortality from England and Wales from 1890 onwards (see diagram below).

This time series has been used to identify key periods when maternal mortality levels increased, such as during times of raised poverty levels and malnutrition, and epidemics of influenza. The decline in maternal mortality that started in the mid-1930s has been attributed to improved hygiene during delivery, the use of sulphonamides for infection control, and other medical advances. The continuous series of maternal mortality generated through the CRVS system alerted health authorities to the risks of childbearing and stimulated efforts to identify and deal with the underlying causes of the high levels of mortality.


Source: Loudon I (2000). Maternal mortality in the past and its relevance to developing countries today. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

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