Seminar boosts health information in Russian Federation


A workshop on using the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) was held in Moscow, Russian Federation, bringing together 20 participants from the Ministry of Health, WHO collaborating centres, medical universities, scientific research centres and regional health information and analysis centres.

ICD is the standard international diagnostic tool used for epidemiology, health management and clinical purposes. It is maintained by WHO and ensures the international comparability of health information by setting standards for collection, processing, classification and presentation of statistics.

The workshop, which took place 19-20 January, focused on how using ICD can strengthen health information usage and reporting. It was provided in response to a request from the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.

Dynamic international discussions

The roundtable format allowed for an animated discussion of the structure and general challenges in reporting of causes of death using ICD. The participating public health colleagues from the host country posed many questions, which were answered by both the experts in the room and those who participated virtually. A video link permitted specialists from Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy and Portugal to share and discuss their experience with cause of death reporting using ICD, coding, quality control and analysis. The seminar identified concrete next steps that WHO will be taking together with the Russian Federation in this area.

Speaking about the workshop, Dr Claudia Stein, Director of Division of Information, Evidence, Research and Innovation at WHO/Europe, commented, “The workshop was a great way to respond to a specific request from a Member State and brought together WHO staff from different locations worldwide. We are very appreciative of the role Russian Federation plays as co-chair of the Steering Group of the European Health Information Initiative and for its strong support in strengthening the health information systems in the European Region.”

Dr Haik Nikogosian, WHO Special Representative to the Russian Federation, echoed Dr Stein’s enthusiasm, saying, “Cause of death reporting and analysis is a highly important area and this workshop has paved the way for the Russian Federation to further improve standards in this work and enjoy even stronger international cooperation and progress.”