SEA/RC67/9 - Covering every birth and death: improving civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS)
AbstractCivil registration is defined as the compulsory, permanent, continuous and universal recording of the occurrence and characteristics of vital events. Registration records are essential to establish legal identity and nationality, as well as to access services including health. Furthermore, vital statistics on births, deaths and causes of death (COD) are essential for population health assessment, monitoring of health progress, and health policy analysis. The correctness of the health indicators for mortality statistics would depend on the counting of every death and accuracy of COD data. Comprehensive assessments of civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems, were undertaken by eight of the 11 Member States of the WHO South-East Asia Region, using the WHO tool. The findings showed inadequate coverage of birth and death registration, poor quality of COD data, incorrect coding of ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases), lack of audits of civil registration data quality, and inadequate interagency coordination between key stakeholder ministries. The technical discussions on “Covering every birth and death: Improving civil registration and vital statistics” were held in the WHO Regional Office in New Delhi on 16–17 June 2014. During the discussions, the draft regional strategy on strengthening the role of health sector in improving civil registration and vital statistics was finalized (Annex 1). It consists of five strategic areas: (i) legal and organizational framework for CRVS; (ii) political commitment and intersectoral collaboration for national capacity-building, partnership, advocacy and outreach; (iii) birth and death registration: completeness and coverage; (iv) Recording causes of death, ensuring completeness and quality; (v) creating demand for health and vital statistics, enabling service delivery and planning through use in: (a) evidence-based decision-making and (b) linkage to other activities. The High-Level Preparatory (HLP) Meeting held in the Regional Office in New Delhi, India, from 14 to 17 July 2014 reviewed the attached working paper and made the following recommendations: Actions by Member States: (1) Comprehensive assessment of CRVS system should be undertaken as appropriate. (2) Health sector-specific interventions such as but not limited to strengthening health systems and health information systems (HIS), training on listing causes of death under ICD-10 and on medical certification of cause of death (MCCD) should be accelerated. (3) Verbal autopsy mechanism should be scaled up to determine the most probable cause of death occurring outside the health facilities, as appropriate. (4) Health services should be linked to CRVS to promote registration of births and deaths. Actions by the WHO Regional Office: (1) WHO should provide technical support to Member States upon request to strengthen the CRVS system. (2) The capacity of Member States should be built to develop a simple tool to capture COD and web-based computerized registration system with linkages to HIS. (3) Technical support should be provided to countries upon request to develop national capacity for implementation of ICD coding. The working paper and the HLP recommendations are submitted to the Sixty-seventh Session of the Regional Committee for its consideration.
World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2014). SEA/RC67/9 - Covering every birth and death: improving civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS). WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/129387