Giving Compass’ Take:
• Around the world, inaccurate and incomplete mortality data prevent effective solutions to health problems and hurt families economically.
• How can philanthropy improve the quantity and quality of mortality data? What are the other consequences of inaccurate and incomplete mortality data?
• Learn how satellite technology can be a tool for public health.
Gaps are closing across some low- and middle-income countries in recording mortality, but more work is needed to understand comprehensive demographics — as well as the actual cost of weak recording systems, according to public health experts.
A large portion of global deaths are not logged through civil registration — somewhere between one-third and nearly two-thirds of total deaths, according to estimates. Those rates rise when considering the approximately 80 percent of deaths that happen at home that go untracked, according to United Nations estimates.
While the presentation of a death certificate does not protect the person who has died, it can protect a woman from being kicked off a plot of land because she can prove her relationship to her deceased husband and can retain the land as a result.
“These countries do not know who is dying of what, let alone what format the data is in,” explained Alan Lopez, a global health and burden of disease expert who previously served as the chief epidemiologist at the World Health Organization.
This matters on both individual and broad public health levels when it comes to “getting health systems right,” according to Philip Setel, the director of civil registration and vital statistics at the global health nonprofit Vital Strategies.
Read the full article about mortality data by Amy Lieberman at Devex International Development.
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