VIPER and associated guidelines were developed by the University of Melbourne in collaboration with country partners as part of the Bloomberg Data for Health Initiative (D4H) civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) strengthening activities.
VIPER is an Excel tool that uses a series of prompts, formulas and visualisations to support users to understand the demographic and epidemiological characteristics of their VA population, estimate the completeness of the data and judge the plausibility of the cause of death patterns via comparisons with other datasets.
Working closely with our partner countries to build CRVS systems is a critical component of our D4H work. As the travel restrictions resulting from COVID-19 have affected our ability to provide this support in-country, we have explored creative ways in which we can adapt to these challenging circumstances to continue to prioritise CRVS support to our partners.
Since May we have conducted several trainings and webinars via Zoom, which have allowed us to provide in-depth guidance and support to country CRVS personnel. We are pleased to announce that so far we have delivered online training to over 1300 CRVS personnel in four countries.
Read more about our online training activities below.
On June 7 we conducted a training on medical certification of cause of death (MCCOD) for over 320 doctors from large hospitals. The training was attended by Dr. Ma. Theresa G. Vera, Director IV, Health Facilities Development Bureau, Department of Health. In a participant survey conducted following the training, the majority rated the online training experience as excellent, having met their expectations very well.
From July 6-10 we conducted a five-day medical terminology training for over 450 Philippines ICD coding staff and hospital records staff. The training was attended by the National Statistician, Deputy National Statistician, Assistant Statistician, and the head of the vital statistics unit. In order to ensure the trainings were interactive, participants were encouraged to create their own medical terminology flashcards and share them online via a coders’ Facebook forum. Feedback from the training was very positive.
From July 13-24 we held an ICD coders’ training for 159 regional officers of the Philippines Statistical Authority.
Joel Cris Patricio of West Visayas State University Medical Center, Iloilo City, Philippines with a colleague during the medical terminology training.
“Clear discussion of topics, simple and easy to understand explanations, can easily help us to know the meaning the medical terms without the help of a medical dictionary”
Medical terminology training attendee
Over July 13-14 we conducted a two-day training on MCCOD and the certification of COVID-19 deaths. There were approximately ten attendees.
On May 28 we conducted a training on MCCOD for COVID-19 deaths for 135 doctors and other health professionals in Myanmar. Opening remarks were provided by Dr Thida Hli, Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Health and Sports, who encouraged attendees to participate and to share the information widely with their colleagues. Participants reported that the online format was useful as it saved time and did not require travel.
On 18 June we conducted an ICD-10 coding training for 24 mortality coders from Myanmar’s Central Statistical Organization (CSO). Opening remarks were provided by U San Myint, Director General of the CSO.
From July 17 to 30 we conducted a MCCOD and verbal autopsy (VA) data integration training for five data analysis staff from the CSO and the Health Management Information Division. The Director of the CSO also attended as a training supervisor.
On 10 July we conducted a MCCOD training for doctors from the from the Henan, Sichuan and Inner Mongolia provinces of China. Additionally, several staff from the China CDC and Bureau of Health attended, including Dr Maigeng Zhou, Deputy Director of the National Center for Chronic and Noncommunicable Disease Control and Prevention (NCNCD) at the China CDC. There was a total of 374 attendees.
We would like to thank our country partners for their flexibility and openness to trialling new methods of training delivery, and for their administration support.
One positive outcome of online delivery is that we have been able to offer training to many more participants than would otherwise have been possible, including participants in remote areas who would not have been able to travel to face-to-face sessions.
We will continue to look for new ways to support the important work of our partners throughout the pandemic, both in their efforts to accurately measure the impact of COVID-19 and in their ongoing work to build sustainable CRVS systems.
Frederick Dacanay from Ospital ng Parañaque in Manila with his impressive medical terminology flashcards!