News & Events

21 Mar 2022
Stillbirth: The “neglected stepchild” of civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS)

Above picture: Community health worker pregnancy register reporting a stillbirth at 8 months gestation along with the comment, ‘Every stillbirth counts.’

Stillbirth registration is often overlooked in the global conversation and policies on birth and death registration. Reducing stillbirth is not a specific target under the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, the World Health Organization and UNICEF work to fill this gap with the Every Newborn Action Plan stillbirth targets to be achieved by 2030.

While reducing stillbirths is ultimately the goal, we must first understand the global burden of stillbirths by improving stillbirth registration. Two recently released resources to increase capacity for health sector managers, civil registrars, and development partners, include:

WHO/UNICEF Health Sector Contributions Toward Improving the Civil Registration of Births and Deaths in Low-Income Countries. This resource includes practical and operational guidance for the health sector on birth and death registration.

Global Health Advocacy Incubator Legal and Regulatory Toolkit for CRVSID Stillbirth Reporting and Registration. This chapter describes best practices for reporting methods and how the law can help ensure all stillbirths are registered.

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