Principles and Recommendations for a Vital Statistics System

Revision 3

image of Principles and Recommendations for a Vital Statistics System

The publication is an international standard on the design and operation of an efficient and accurate vital statistics system at national level. It provides guidelines on collection, compiling and disseminating vital statistics. More specifically it contains (a) basic principles for a vital statistics system; (b) uses of vital statistics and civil registration records; (c) topics to be covered in a vital statistics system; (d) sources of vital statistics and how they function; (e) quality assurance in the vital statistics system and (f) strategies in improving civil registration and vital statistics systems in countries. It also informs policy makers and the general public on the importance of vital statistics and hence further improving the vital statistics system.



The role of health institutions

Health institutions have a critical—and dual—role in the vital statistics system. First, health institutions act as informants of the occurrence of births, foetal deaths and deaths; and second, the certification of causes of death can be performed only by physicians attached to health institutions. In addition to these functions carried out within the framework of the vital statistics system, information collected by health institutions is crucial in generating health statistics which, in turn, provide irreplaceable information regarding the overall health of the population, and the functioning and the needs of the public-health system.


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