ANACONDA: A new tool to improve mortality and cause of death data

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  • Lene Mikkelsen, The University of Melbourne
  • ,
  • Kim Moesgaard
  • Michael Hegnauer, University of Basel
  • ,
  • Alan D. Lopez, The University of Melbourne

Background: The need to monitor the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to have access to reliable and timely mortality data has created a strong demand in countries for tools that can assist them in this. ANACONDA (Analysis of National Causes of Death for Action) is a new tool developed for this purpose which allows countries to assess how accurate their mortality and cause of death are. Applying ANACONDA will increase confidence and capacity among data custodians in countries about their mortality data and will give them insight into quality problems that will assist the improvement process. Methods: ANACONDA builds on established epidemiological and demographic concepts to operationalise a series of 10 steps and numerous sub-steps to perform data checks. Extensive use is made of comparators to assess the plausibility of national mortality and cause of death statistics. The tool calculates a composite Vital Statistics Performance Index for Quality (VSPI(Q)) to measure how fit for purpose the data are. Extracts from analyses of country data are presented to show the types of outputs. Results: Each of the 10 steps provides insight into how well the current data is describing different aspects of the mortality situation in the country, e.g. who dies of what, the completeness of the reporting, and the amount and types of unusable cause of death codes. It further identifies the exact codes that should not be used by the certifying physicians and their frequency, which makes it possible to institute a focused correction procedure. Finally, the VSPI(Q) allows periodic monitoring of data quality improvements and identifies priorities for action to strengthen the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) system. Conclusions: ANACONDA has demonstrated the potential to dramatically improve knowledge about disease patterns as well as the functioning of CRVS systems and has served as a platform for galvanising wider CRVS reforms in countries.

TidsskriftBMC Medicine
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2020

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