Verbal autopsy interpretation: summary and quick reference guides now available
We have recently published two condensed versions of our verbal autopsy (VA) interpretation guidance document, which are now available on the Gateway.
SmartVA-Analyze 2.1 now available for download
We are pleased to announce the release of SmartVA-Analyze 2.1, developed in partnership with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).
Verbal autopsy data published in Myanmar Statistical Yearbook
Publication of VA data in Myanmar's annual statistical yearbook demonstrates progress and commitment to CRVS systems development.
Launching: MCCOD eLearning for medical students and physicians
We are excited to launch an eLearning course on medical certification of cause of death (MCCOD) for undergraduate and early-career physicians.
New report: advocating for change in Myanmar
We are pleased to share our new report, “Advocating for change: How advocacy contributed to strengthened civil registration and vital statistics in Myanmar”.
CRVS Resource Kits
Civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) Resource Kits summarise and introduce the most important papers, tools and guidance documents for countries to begin planning for and implementing CRVS interventions.
ANACONDA in 20 countries
We are pleased to announce the publication of “Are cause of death data fit for purpose? evidence from 20 countries at different levels of socio-economic development” in PLoS One.
Fellow blog: COVID-19, challenges and opportunities in Lao PDR
In this blog, Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Fellow Dilip Hensman reflects on how COVID-19 surveillance challenges could be turned into opportunities.
Introducing ANACONDA (Analysis of Causes of National Deaths for Action). ANACONDA is a tool designed to help users of routine mortality data understand how fit–for-purpose their data are.
Four years of CRVS interventions
The first CRVS collection to report on experience in implementing technical interventions over the first four years of the Bloomberg Data for Health Initiative.
Climbing mountains to conduct VAs
Follow Martha Wame, Field Coordinator for the Bloomberg Data for Health initiative in Papua New Guinea, as she travels by car, boat and foot to conduct Verbal Autopsies in rural communities.
VIPER alpha release
Introducing the Verbal Autopsy Interpretation, Performance and Evaluation Resource (VIPER). VIPER helps you analyse and understand the cause of death (COD) data generated by verbal autopsy (VA).
Fellowship project published by Brazilian Journal of Epidemiology
Brazilian Journal of Epidemiology publishes Raquel's fellowship project Investigation of garbage code deaths to improve the quality of cause-of-death in Brazil: results from a pilot study.
Saman rolls out training to four countries in three months
Dr Saman Gamage, one of the Technical Advisers for the Data for Health (D4H) initiative at the University of Melbourne rolls out training to Myanmar, the Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
Churches and the government come together in the Solomon Islands
Representatives from the member churches of the Solomon Islands Christian Association (SICA) met with officials from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for a workshop on improving death registration led by University of Melbourne Data for Health.
Guidelines for interpreting verbal autopsy data
These guidelines provide five steps for users of verbal autopsy (VA) to follow to help them interpret and present their data, and thus improve the utility of VA data for public health decision making.
New: CRVS costing and sampling tools
Countries can benefit from new tools that assist in determining the costs of implementing CRVS systems, and provide guidance and calculation on how large verbal autopsy sampling sizes should be in order to ensure the results are representative of the country.
Read our latest edition of More than Numbers!
We wrap up our collective achievements over the past four years of the initiative, share accounts of verbal autopsy work in the field, in-depth interviews with our colleagues in Brazil, Colombia and Myanmar and talk to our Fellows about what they are excited to learn.
New ANACONDA report template
Have you been trained on ANACONDA? Our new template assists countries to write reports about the quality of mortality and cause of death data in their countries or a sub-region using ANACONDA to calculate indicators and produce charts and tables.
CRVS strengthening in Sri Lanka
Although largely manual, the Sri Lankan registration system manages to register most births and deaths. However it is slow in compiling data from all the registration points, coding cause of death data, and releasing vital statistics. Sri Lankan CRVS experts weigh in on how the country is improving their system as part of the Data for Health Initiative.
Fortalecimento de RCEV no Brasil
Assista a vídeos com as partes interessadas do RCEB do Brasil sobre como o país está trabalhando para fortalecer seu sistema de RCEV e melhorar seus dados de causa de morte.
CRVS strengthening in Myanmar
Myanmar has made great progress in strengthening civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS). In order to maximise the impact of CRVS on improved population health and the prevention of premature death and disability, the government requires accurate, reliable, timely, and complete information on birth and death registration, including data on cause of death (COD).
CRVS strengthening in Bangladesh
Before Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative launched in Bangladesh, there was very little information on who was dying of what, which is needed to guide public health policies and plans. Watch videos with Bangladesh's CRVS stakeholders on how the country is working to strengthen their CRVS system and improve their cause of death data.
Zambia's death coverage climbs with Data for Health
Zambia's rate of death registration coverage has been low as a result of the law that requires all deaths that are registered to have a cause. The Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative in Zambia is using verbal autopsy methods to count deaths that occur outside of health settings, in order to get a better understanding of who is dying of what in the country, which will better inform preventative health policies and plans.
CRVS strengthening in China (Shanghai)
As part of the CRVS BD4H Initiative, Shanghai will implement five interventions to advance system performance by focusing on improvements in the quality of mortality statistics generated through their surveillance system.
CRVS strengthening in Tanzania
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. Watch videos with Tanzania's CRVS stakeholders on how the country is working to strengthen their CRVS system and improve their cause of death data.
University of Melbourne Fellowships
With the view of creating sustainability of CRVS interventions in countries supported by the Data for Health Initiative, the University of Melbourne has committed to a fellowship program that has grown throughout the four-year project.
Elevating the role of verbal autopsy into CRVS systems
Dr Ian Riley describes how the method has evolved from his work in the 1970s examining the efficacy of the pneumococcal vaccine in Papua New Guinea into large-scale implementation to improve civil registration and vital statistics.
Progresos de RCEV en Ecuador
Mire videos con las partes interesadas de CRVS de Ecuador sobre cómo está trabajando el país para fortalecer su sistema de RCEV y mejorar sus datos de causa de muerte.
CRVS strengthening in Papua New Guinea
Watch videos with Papua New Guinea CRVS stakeholders on how the country is working to strengthen their CRVS system and improve their cause of death data.
An analysis of cause of death data from PNG
Ila Rouka and Elizabeth Mathias from the National Department of Health, Papua New Guinea (PNG), came to the University of Melbourne for a fellowship to analyse medical certificates of cause of death.
Patterns and trends in Rwandan hospital mortality data
Read the latest fellowship report: Patterns and trends in Rwandan hospital mortality data, 2017-2018, by Patrick Nshimiyimana from the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda.
Meeting on strengthening the quality of information on causes of death in Brazil
The objective of the meeting was to discuss the improvement of the quality of the information on causes of death in Brazil, with the participation of the three spheres of government, civil society, universities, and international institutions. This report summarises the main outcomes of the meeting, including each of the main sessions, comments from participants, and links to additional resources.
Manuel sur la certification de la cause de décès à l’intention des médecins
Le présent manuel a été conçu de façon à servir de ressource que les médecins peuvent garder à portée de main et consulter rapidement et facilement.
Fellow wins Commonwealth Digital Health Award
Congratulations to University of Melbourne Data for Health Fellow Dr Chamika Senanayake for winning a Commonwealth Digital Health Award in Colombo, Sri Lanka in the category of health promotion and health education for his work on SmartVA DHIS2 integration.
Fellowship profile: Developing a qualitative study protocol on VA interviewer experiences in Myanmar
Between November 2016 and February 2017 Ms Tun Zin Mar, from the Central Statistical Office came to the University of Melbourne to develop a framework of analysis for a qualitative study to learn about the experiences of verbal autopsy interviewers during the initial phases of implementation.
New- Summary: Improving the notification of community deaths
Notification of deaths, particularly deaths in the community, requires special attention and will likely need specific interventions tailored to each country. Two checklists have been developed for countries seeking to audit and improve internal notification of community deaths.
New- Maximising synergies between Health Observatories and CRVS
This report provides practical guidance about how population and health observatories and CRVS systems can collaborate, to ultimately improve the registration and certification of births, deaths, and causes of death.
New- Colombia: A strategy to improve the registration and certification of vital events in rural and ethnic communities
This paper details Colombia’s strategy to increase the registration and certification of vital events in rural municipalities and ethnic communities. Key parts of this intervention involve developing a proactive search system to improve capture of vital events through mobile notification, and subsequently applying automated verbal autopsy to determine probable cause of community-based deaths.
New- Developing a mobile app for doctors to improve the recording of cause of death in Sri Lanka
Describes the development, testing, and potential impact of a mobile application for doctors to improve the recording of cause of death in Sri Lanka.
SDG achievement depends on CRVS systems
Well-functioning civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems will play an important role in assisting countries and regions to measure, monitor and meet their Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets.
Ghana: Developing a CRVS-VA management dashboard
This fellowship report highlights key features of the CRVS-VA management dashboard that was developed by Patrick Larbi-Debrah from the Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation department of Ghana Health Service, as part of his time at the Universities of Melbourne and Basel.
New- Summary: Monitoring CRVS data quality and progress
This new resource summarises key points from the Lancet series paper, which discussed results from a global assessment of CRVS systems, and the development of a composite index, the Vital Statistics Performance Index (VSPI) that can monitor data quality and progress over time.
With the increasing capabilities of technology to bring together scientists who were once separated geographically or by different disciplines, we now have the ability to track and estimate disease, injuries and risk factors down to the specifics, and with a level of accuracy that we couldn’t have imagined before.
Establishing mortality surveillance in Papua New Guinea
Historically in Papua New Guinea (PNG), the two major health systems for capturing deaths and causes of death have not provided complete or timely information.
What are people dying of in Greenland and why?
Greenland is considered a high-income country that has almost doubled its life expectancy since the 1950s, yet the life expectancy of the country is that of low-income countries - so what are people dying of and why?
Implementing an electronic death notification system in Peru
In Peru, over one in five people who die are not being counted in either the Ministry of Health or in the National Registry of Identification and Marital Status.
New Sri Lankan MCCOD app wins Commonwealth award
A new interactive mobile app that was created as part of Data for Health, won an award at the Commonwealth Digital Health Conference Awards in Colombo, Sri Lanka in October 2017.
New method to estimate completeness of death registration
A new empirical method to estimate the completeness of death registration, has been developed and launched by the CRVS team at the University of Melbourne.
New web resource supports country improvement of critical health data
The CRVS Knowledge Gateway developed by the University of Melbourne, provides technical tools and information that countries can use to improve birth and death data, with the ultimate goal to support their citizens to live longer, healthier lives.
The road to registering more births in Tanzania
“The implications of not having your birth registered are huge,” says statistician and BD4H Tanzania CRVS Fellow Chris Sanga, “yet as little as 1 in 4 Tanzanian children under the age of 5 have had their birth registered.”
Innovation collaboration with Swiss TPH
The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute at the University of Basel is the University of Melbourne’s collaborator for the BD4H Initiative, developing CRVS tools and filling knowledge and methods gaps in order to provide technical assistance to countries.
Fellowship profile – from Shanghai to Melbourne
In order to build capacity to strengthen CRVS systems in countries involved in the BD4H, six to eight fellows from the project's countries are trained a year on CRVS systems and work on a project with direct application to BD4H activities in their country.
Building skills in data quality assessments in the Philippines
Access to reliable and timely mortality and cause of death statistics is essential for monitoring trends in diseases, injuries and risk factors, and critically important to guide good public health policy and prevention. Training in ANACONDA will build this capacity in the Philippines, enabling them to identify inconsistencies and errors in their mortality datasets and subsequently improve the quality of their mortality statistics.
Melbourne boot camp to bolster world-wide vital statistics
Country coordinators from Bangladesh, Brazil, Ecuador, Ghana, Indonesia, Malawi, Myanmar, Peru, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tanzania and Zambia attended a CRVS boot camp organised by Bloomberg Data for Health partners, the University of Melbourne and Vital Strategies.
University of Virginia Fellow Visits Data for Health
“Estimating and analysing the distribution of causes of death in rural areas of the world may not sound as sexy as ground-breaking surgery techniques, but it has the potential to save millions of lives. Our research will help inform health policy in underdeveloped regions of the world,” Riley said.
Myanmar: Strengthening data
Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative researchers Professor Alan Lopez, Dr Tim Adair, Sonja Firth and Nicola Richards travelled to Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, in early August to assist with strengthening the local civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) system.
Building mortality coding expertise in Bangladesh and Myanmar
Both Bangladesh and Myanmar have prioritised coding in their Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Country Work Plans. The country does not have a team of coders so the training has helped build the expertise in-country.
Strengthening CRVS design
In May, the Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health (BD4H) Initiative joined with several countries in Bangkok to develop country-specific process models for the registration of births and deaths, both inside and outside health facilities.