This ministerial roundtable was organized by ESCAP. It took place online on 19 November 2021, from 08:30 to 09:30 hrs, Bangkok time.
The pandemic has caused both tremendous challenges and opportunities for CRVS systems, especially related to deaths, and calls for collective efforts to shape the future landscape of health information and ensure the benefits for sustainable development.
The most fundamental question: How many people have actually died from COVID-19 cannot yet be answered in many countries in the region. Indeed, it may take some time before we know the answer and, in some countries, we may never know. In particular, the most vulnerable and marginalized populations – those often most at risk of COVID-19 – may never have their deaths counted.
A well-functioning civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) system is necessary to provide an answer to this question. However, during a public health emergency such as COVID-19, even a well-functioning CRVS system is faced with challenges of backlogs in death registrations and diagnostic uncertainties.
Issues for discussion:
- How can we respond to the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic while leveraging the spotlight on mortality statistics to ensure sustainable capacity strengthening?
- What can Governments and the international community do to assist least developed countries in rebuilding through productive transformation of CRVS systems to ensure preparedness for the next health emergency or pandemic?