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CIVIL REGISTRATION AND VITAL STATISTICS

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10 Feb 2021
Piloting verbal autopsy data collection in the Solomon Islands
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The Solomon Islands is an archipelago of approximately 1,000 islands. With an estimated population of only 700,000, much of the country is remote and sparsely populated, with travel occurring largely by boat and air. Out of an estimated 3500-4000 annual deaths, nearly 75% occur in the community and therefore do not receive a medical certification of cause of death (MCCOD). In order to explore the causes of these deaths, automated verbal autopsies (VAs) were introduced to the Solomon Islands through the University of Melbourne Data for Health (UoM D4H) initiative in 2016.

D4H has been working with Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services to implement an automated SmartVA system. This system involves the use of tablet-based digital forms for data collection at hospitals, for deaths on arrival, and Area Health Centres (AHCs) for community deaths. Additionally, SmartVA was implemented at some Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) in the Malaita and Choiseul provinces. This system involves the use of tablet-based digital forms for data collection at hospitals, for deaths on arrival, and Area Health Centres (AHCs) for community deaths.

As of early November 2020, 19 paper-based VAs have been completed and analysed, with 18 having been assigned a specific cause of death. Once a larger number of paper-based forms have been completed, VAs will be added to the electronic database and analysed using SmartVA-Analyse software. To continue reading more about this story and to learn about the initial results of the pilot program, please visit the D4H's CRVS Gateway website.

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