CARPHA Hosts Mortality Coding and Underlying Cause-of-Death Training Workshop

CARPHA recently concluded a specialized five-day training workshop on the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, version 10 (ICD-10) and Underlying Cause-of-Death Selection in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago for first time mortality coders.  The training workshop was held from November 17-21, 2014. The purpose of the ICD-10 is to promote international comparability in the collection, classification, processing and presentation of health statistics.

“This is one of our ongoing initiatives to build country capacity and support the strengthening of mortality surveillance systems within the region. Data on vital statistics (births and deaths) represent some of the most widely collected information but also some of the most underused data.” said Head of Health Information and Data Analysis (HDA), Ms Marsha Ivey.

Accurate mortality and cause-of-death data are essential to public health planning by providing information needed to shape priorities, to guide the development of policies and interventions and to monitor and assess such policies both nationally and sub-nationally.

The workshop provided participants with a deeper understanding of the correct use of the ICD-10 for mortality coding, and the skills to select the underlying cause-of-death. The underlying cause-of-death may be referred to as the disease, injury or circumstances of an accident or violence that lead directly to death, or produce a fatal injury.  Identifying the underlying cause-of-death is of great importance as this enables health authorities and policy makers to determine the primary targets for disease prevention and control.

Participants at the workshop included health workers from Aruba, Anguilla, Haiti, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Turks & Caicos Islands.  Following this training, workshop participants will be expected to engage in mortality coding and underlying cause-of-death selection when they return to their country. The knowledge and skills gained are expected to increase the capacity of the health system of the countries and contribute to better health in the Caribbean.


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