From September 30th to October 2nd the 18th Pasifika Medical Association conference was held in Port Vila, Vanuatu under the theme of ‘Culture, Community Healing, Primary Care & Workforce in the Pacific'.
Christine Linhart (Social Statistician) from the Statistics for Development Division (SDD) attended the conference and made a presentation on behalf of the Brisbane Accord Group (BAG) on strengthening cause of death certification in Pacific Island countries and territories through increased collaboration with medical doctors to understand the challenges and barriers they face undertaking certification of deaths.
A commitment to improving civil registration and vital statistics, of which certification of death is one part, has been made throughout the Pacific region through a range of international agreements, including the Pacific Vital Statistics Action Plan (PVSAP).
Efforts to improve completeness and accuracy of death certification are best approached from a position of mutual understanding and agreement of the difficulties faced by not only the medical professionals involved in the process of death certification, but also the users of this data.
By encouraging and facilitating a process of increased engagement between medical professionals, Health Departments and Statistical Organisations, collaborative problem-solving may increase efforts to identify and alleviate the barriers to improved completeness and accuracy of death certification in Pacific Island countries in territories.
The conference presentation enabled the Brisbane Accord Group (BAG) to increase awareness within the Pasifika Medical Association of the work that it is doing to strengthen cause of death certification in the Pacific region, and to establish contacts within the Pasifika Medical Association for future collaboration and research.