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One of the biggest contributors to preventable deaths isn't a health problem but a record-keeping problem - and it is one that can be solved.

The Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative is a global initiative that has partnered with low and middle-income countries to reach an anticipated 1.5 billion or more people. The Initiative aims to dramatically improve health data, including improving understanding of the leading causes of premature death, with the ultimate goal to save more lives by ensuring countries have more accurate public health information through strengthened civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems. 

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"Improving the availability and accuracy of global health data is one of the greatest opportunities we have to help people live longer, healthier lives. The more we know about causes of death and illness, the better we can target resources and measure progress.”
Michael R. Bloomberg, 
Founder and WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases.

The University of Melbourne is one of six implementing partners of the Initiative, with a focus on improving national capacity, skills and knowledge to strengthen CRVS systems. Interventions include technical assistance to: increase the registration of births and deaths, improve the quality of cause of death information at hospitals, apply verbal autopsy to better understand probable causes of death in communities and, produce high-quality data sets and develop data analysis skills for policy and program analysis. In addition to the provision of technical assistance, the University of Melbourne conducts a CRVS Fellowship program to build capacity in emerging civil registration and vital statistics leaders, and has developed the CRVS Knowledge Gateway to ensure countries have lasting access to vital resources and up-to-date information to support CRVS system development. Through these interventions, participating countries and cities are equipped with the necessary knowledge and technical capacity to specifically target issues affecting public health.

"The biggest misconception is that it’s too hard and can’t be done. The Bloomberg project is about countering that myth and proving that it actually can be done. We’re making use of information and technology innovations and methodological advances, packaging them, talking to countries, and building confidence in policymakers to show that these developments are possible - that their public health systems can benefit from these scientific and technological advances.”
Laureate Professor Alan Lopez, University of Melbourne,
Technical Director of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative

The work by the University of Melbourne on the Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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crvs-info@unimelb.edu.au
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