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CIVIL REGISTRATION AND VITAL STATISTICS

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03 Jun 2022
Capacity Building Ensures Business Continuity for Mortality Coding in Papua New Guinea
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Coding of cause of death data is essential for mortality statistics and optimizing the benefits from a good CRVS system. Therefore, the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Data for Health Initiative (D4H) helped train 10 government officials and hospital staff in Papua New Guinea on International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) mortality coding. 

Due to staff movement, retirement, and the unfortunate passing of the last coder at Port Moresby General Hospital, mortality coding in Papua New Guinea had been under significant strain. Papua New Guinea’s Ministry of Health, with financial and technical support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation, adopted a user-centric virtual training approach to train existing staff and revitalize the unit with five new recruits. Components included in the online training were comprehensive ranging from principles of classification to chapter-specific coding and exercises. The training was conducted in “pulses” whereby trainees took breaks in between major components to review learned content and practice coding by doing various exercises. The trainers carried out a coding quality assessment 12 weeks after the training to identify issues and re-train the new staff on areas requiring improvement.

Mortality coding now resumes in Papua New Guinea with better quality and timely data collection. Looking ahead, Papua New Guinea’s government aims to mitigate risks of staff shortage by creating career pathways and offering support for further education for the coders.

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