Specialists from Tiraspol improve skills in managing health information and reporting causes of death

WHO/Alexandr Marchenko

Mortality data from civil registration and vital statistics systems are a primary source of information for identifying and monitoring diseases in populations, as well as other public health problems.

On 16–18 May 2017, 27 health information specialists from the left bank of the Nistru River attended a training course in Tiraspol related to the reporting, analysis and quality assurance of causes of death. They included deputy heads of local health care institutions and statisticians.

International experts from the WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Statistics and Analysis in Moscow, Russian Federation, delivered the training, which also involved local experts. They did so under the coordination of the Division of Information, Evidence, Research, and Innovation with support from WHO/Europe and the WHO Country Office in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

The course aimed to strengthen local capacities to improve the quality and standardization of the data collection process, and to ensure integration and comparability of health data. It used a combination of lectures and practical exercises to discuss:

  • the mortality data collection system;
  • elements and use of the international death certificate and medical certification of death;
  • the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) and its rules for coding the underlying causes of death;
  • analysis and quality control of cause-of-death statistics using the WHO Analysing mortality levels and causes-of-death (ANACoD) electronic tool; and
  • reporting, quality assurance and analysis of infant and maternal mortality.

Participants also discussed characteristics of the local data collection process and the flow of cause-of-death reporting. Together they identified opportunities to standardize these processes, improve comparability and data quality, and strengthen the use of collected data to inform policy-making.

Through the training, participants gained additional knowledge and skills to plan further steps towards revising and harmonizing cause-of-death statistics and reporting in compliance with international requirements. This will ultimately contribute to improvements in both cause-of-death reporting and the analysis of mortality in the country. It will also allow for better measurement of the impact of public health interventions.

The Republic of Moldova is a member of the European Health Information Initiative (EHII), whose aim is to harmonize health information in the WHO European Region. Through collaboration with Member States and capacity-building activities, such as this training, EHII promotes the strengthening of national health information systems.

WHO/Europe’s support for this activity was part of its biennial collaborative agreement for 2016–2017 with the Moldovan Ministry of Health. The training was part of a broader project, Support to Confidence Building Measures Programme, funded by the European Union. It was also supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation through the Multi-Partner Trust Fund, and coordinated by WHO.