Improving medical certification of cause of death in the Pacific

Medical certification

Medical certification of cause of death (MCCD) is a key source of mortality statistics. The death certificate is a permanent record of the fact and characteristics of death.  It provides important personal information about the decedent, the circumstances and the cause of death. Death certificates should be completed by medical doctors in alignment with international standards and practices.  It allows countries to analyse and identify areas for health service improvements while providing necessary early public health interventions.

Unfortunately, in many developing countries doctors do not receive sufficient training on how to accurately certify deaths in alignment with these international standards.

As such, The Pacific Community (SPC) in collaboration with the Brisbane Accord Group (BAG), conducted a sub-regional training for Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) on medical certification of causes-of-death (MCCD) on the 27th and 28th of February, in Nadi Fiji.

Dr Koko Lwin, Chief Medical Officer from the Ministry of Health Cooks Islands shared that, “after attending this workshop, now feels responsible to share knowledge among the other doctors in Cook Islands. Plans to provide training to junior doctors on how to write a death certificate with time intervals to understand the train of events leading to death.”

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Regional Training Workshop on Medical Certification of Cause of Death (MCCD).