Between May and August 2018, Patrick Nshimiyimana from the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda, came to the University of Melbourne to analyse cause of death data collected over 12 months from a selected number of hospitals and health facilities. This report highlights key findings from his research, including patterns and trends in causes of death, as well as how the data compare with other sources of mortality data.
In 2015, Rwanda began to improve its civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) system, which is the primary source of mortality statistics used for evidence-based planning and policy-making for public health and epidemiological control. Rwandan health facilities notify the CRVS system of deaths in hospitals through a web-based application operated by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR).
The NISR is collaborating with the Data for Health Initiative and the University of Melbourne to build the capacity of the Rwandan CRVS system to collect better quality and reliable data on deaths and causes of deaths. In this project, hospital mortality data were compared with verbal autopsy (VA) data and estimates from global burden of disease data. This allowed the research team to assess the accuracy of CRVS data and to advise on potential improvements for the system. This research is the first of its kind conducted in Rwanda.