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    The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated a Collaborating Centre for Verbal Autopsy , hosted at Umeň University in Sweden.

    Verbal autopsy covers the techniques used for determining cause of death, after someone has died without their death being formally recorded by health services. It involves interviewing someone who witnessed the death - often a family member or other carer - and noting the details of the final disease. Then those data can be assessed by a physician or processed by a computer model to assign a likely cause of death.

   Why bother to do all this, once someone has died? The reason is that the patterns of people's deaths are hugely important for understanding health and disease in populations. In large parts of the world, especially in Africa and Asia, millions of deaths pass by unrecorded, and therefore capturing information about these unrecorded deaths is hugely important for planning health services.

Key resources:

WHO 2014 Verbal Autopsy standards

InterVA model, compatible with WHO VA standards

Collaborating Centre Technical Bulletins:

November 2015: Performance of various automated coding methods for Verbal Autopsy


Join the Collaborating Centre's mailing list by sending a mail to WHOCCVA@epiph.umu.se

For the latest on verbal autopsy, follow the Collaborating Centre on Twitter: 

    Latest @WHOCCVA tweets




This page: last updated by Peter Byass 20th November 2015