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Civil Registration

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Civil Registration: BACKGROUND

Civil registration is a routine, permanent, nationally mandated data source that captures vital life events (namely live births, deaths, foetal deaths, marriages and divorces). It provides legal documentation of such events and is the ideal source for vital statistics. However, even in contexts where civil registration is complete, underreporting and misclassification of maternal deaths is a frequent challenge. Civil registration can also be done on a sample basis, identifying deaths either actively or passively - Sample Vital Registration or SAVVY (Sample vital registration with verbal autopsy).

Identification of death

Family member and/or facility notify deaths to civil registration system at time they occur (actively).

Ascertainment of maternal/pregnancy related status:



Measurement requirements:

Civil Registration Forms

Sample Death Form:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Sample Death Certificate, USA. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Sample Birth Certificate Form:

University of California, San Francisco Sample Live Birth Certificate, USA. University of California, San Francisco

Also see:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Sample Modified Death Notification Form, USA. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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United Nations UN (2001) Principles and recommendations for a vital statistics system. Revision 2. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Statistics Division. New York: United Nations. ST/ESA/STAT/SER.M/19/Rev.2

United Nations UN (2002) Handbook on training in civil registration and vital statistics systems. New York: United Nations.

Bulletin of the World Health Organisation AbouZahr C, Wardlaw T (2001) Maternal mortality at the end of a decade: signs of progress? Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 79(6): 561-73.

Obstetrics and Gynecology Deneux-Tharaux, C, Berg, C, Bouvier-Colle, MH; Gissler, M; Harper, M; Nannini, A; Alexander, S; Wildman, K; Breart, G; Buekens, P (2005) Underreporting of pregnancy-related mortality in the United States and Europe. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 106(4):684-92.

Elsevier - Social Science and Medicine Songane FF, Bergström S (2002) Quality of registration of maternal deaths in Mozambique: a community-based study in rural and urban areas. Social Science and Medicine, 54(1): 23-31.

Tropical Doctor Sombie, I.; Meda, N.; Hounton, S.; Bambara, M.; Ouedraogo, T.W.; Graham, W. (2007) Missing maternal deaths: lessons from Souro Sanou University Hospital in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. Tropical Doctor, 37(2): 96-8.

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United Nations Other Handbooks and Training Manuals