Where there is no hospital: improving the notification of community deaths

Adair, Tim and Rajasekhar, Megha and Bo, Khin Sandar and Hart, John and Kwa, Viola and Mukut, Md Ashfaqul Amin and Reeve, Matthew and Richards, Nicola and Ronderos-Torres, Margarita and de Savigny, Don and Muñoz, Daniel Cobos and Lopez, Alan D.. (2020) Where there is no hospital: improving the notification of community deaths. BMC medicine, 18. p. 65.

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Globally, an estimated two-thirds of all deaths occur in the community, the majority of which are not attended by a physician and remain unregistered. Identifying and registering these deaths in civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems, and ascertaining the cause of death, is thus a critical challenge to ensure that policy benefits from reliable evidence on mortality levels and patterns in populations. In contrast to traditional processes for registration, death notification can be faster and more efficient at informing responsible government agencies about the event and at triggering a verbal autopsy for ascertaining cause of death. Thus, innovative approaches to death notification, tailored to suit the setting, can improve the availability and quality of information on community deaths in CRVS systems.; Here, we present case studies in four countries (Bangladesh, Colombia, Myanmar and Papua New Guinea) that were part of the initial phases of the Bloomberg Data for Health Initiative at the University of Melbourne, each of which faces unique challenges to community death registration. The approaches taken promote improved notification of community deaths through a combination of interventions, including integration with the health sector, using various notifying agents and methods, and the application of information and communication technologies. One key factor for success has been the smoothing of processes linking notification, registration and initiation of a verbal autopsy interview. The processes implemented champion more active notification systems in relation to the passive systems commonly in place in these countries.; The case studies demonstrate the significant potential for improving death reporting through the implementation of notification practices tailored to a country's specific circumstances, including geography, cultural factors, structure of the existing CRVS system, and available human, information and communication technology resources. Strategic deployment of some, or all, of these innovations can result in rapid improvements to death notification systems and should be trialled in other settings.
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 > Health Systems and Policies (de Savigny)
UniBasel Contributors:Cobos Muñoz, Daniel and de Savigny, Donald
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:BioMed Central
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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edoc DOI:
Last Modified:11 Mar 2020 08:35
Deposited On:11 Mar 2020 08:35

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