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Integrating community-based verbal autopsy into civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) : system-level considerations

de Savigny, Don and Riley, Ian and Chandramohan, Daniel and Odhiambo, Frank and Nichols, Erin and Notzon, Sam and AbouZahr, Carla and Mitra, Raj and Cobos Muñoz, Daniel and Firth, Sonja and Maire, Nicolas and Sankoh, Osman and Bronson, Gay and Setel, Philip and Byass, Peter and Jakob, Robert and Boerma, Ties and Lopez, Alan D.. (2017) Integrating community-based verbal autopsy into civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) : system-level considerations. Global Health Action, 10 (1). p. 1272882.

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Abstract

Reliable and representative cause of death (COD) statistics are essential to inform public health policy, respond to emerging health needs, and document progress towards Sustainable Development Goals. However, less than one-third of deaths worldwide are assigned a cause. Civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems in low- and lower-middle-income countries are failing to provide timely, complete and accurate vital statistics, and it will still be some time before they can provide physician-certified COD for every death. Proposals: Verbal autopsy (VA) is a method to ascertain the probable COD and, although imperfect, it is the best alternative in the absence of medical certification. There is extensive experience with VA in research settings but only a few examples of its use on a large scale. Data collection using electronic questionnaires on mobile devices and computer algorithms to analyse responses and estimate probable COD have increased the potential for VA to be routinely applied in CRVS systems. However, a number of CRVS and health system integration issues should be considered in planning, piloting and implementing a system-wide intervention such as VA. These include addressing the multiplicity of stakeholders and sub-systems involved, integration with existing CRVS work processes and information flows, linking VA results to civil registration records, information technology requirements and data quality assurance.; Integrating VA within CRVS systems is not simply a technical undertaking. It will have profound system-wide effects that should be carefully considered when planning for an effective implementation. This paper identifies and discusses the major system-level issues and emerging practices, provides a planning checklist of system-level considerations and proposes an overview for how VA can be integrated into routine CRVS systems.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Former Units within Swiss TPH > Public Health Computing (Maire)
UniBasel Contributors:de Savigny, Donald and Maire, Nicolas
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Co-Action Publishing
ISSN:1654-9716
e-ISSN:1654-9880
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
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Last Modified:20 Apr 2018 10:01
Deposited On:25 Apr 2017 08:22

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