The Brisbane Accord Group (BAG), led by SPC, WHO, the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and Fiji National University (FNU) conducted a regional workshop on the medical certification of causes of death on 28-30 November 2017 in Suva, Fiji. The workshop was attended by 19 participants including Medical doctors and Health Information Personnel from six Pacific Island countries, namely: Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The workshop aimed at reviewing a set of training materials developed by BAG on medical certification of causes of death which had earlier been piloted through two national workshops held in Samoa and Tuvalu in September and October 2017, respectively.
The workshop introduced the participants to existing training tools on cause of death certification and further went through key topics that should be covered in teaching certification, including an overview and presentation of each topic, and review of training material and case examples. The workshop also discussed regional approaches to building capacity in medical certification, including the importance of cross-country knowledge and experience sharing.
National training on coding causes of death was organised by the BAG in Fiji 4-8 December 2017. The training was led by the World Health Organisation, the Australian Bureau of statistics and the Queensland University of Technology.
The 19 participants included health information staff and IT professionals from the Ministry of Health of Fiji. The training focused on building knowledge and capacity in the application of mortality coding rules, in alignment to international standards for the classification of diseases (ICD) and the application of IRIS –an automated system for coding of causes of death. Participants undertook practical coding exercises using medical certificates of cause of death from Fiji –applying both manual and automated coding processes. The training will support Fiji in improving the quality of cause of death data and in expanding the pool of human resources available to undertake cause of death coding. Fiji is the first Pacific Island country to adopt IRIS for cause of death coding.
Improving the quality of cause of death data in the Pacific is a core priority for BAG and was underlined by the recently held Pacific Heads of Planning and Statistics Meeting. The BAG plans to strengthen its support and engagement in this area, particularly through providing more opportunities for training and south-south exchanges among Pacific Island countries and Territories.
Facilitated by the BAG, in November 2017, the registrar from Tokelau visited Niue’s Civil Registration office for one week to share knowledge and experiences on civil registration practices and process.