The Burden of Disease Research Unit is conducting a national study to investigate the cause-of-death information provided on death notifications. 27 health sub-districts have been sampled across SA (3 per province) to provide a sample of approximate 13 000 deaths during September 2017-April 2018. The selected areas are shown in the map below.
Working in collaboration with Epicentre, the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the South African Funeral Practitioners Association (SAFPA) and the Department of Home Affairs, families who recently lost a loved one were identified and requested to participate in the study.
Home visits were undertaken undertaken from August 2018 – April 2019, in collaboration with GeoSpace International, to interview the next-of-kin or the person who cared for the deceased, to find out about any illnesses or conditions that may have resulted in the death. The 2016 WHO Verbal Autopsy instruments were used.
A team of doctors were trained to identify the cause of death and the data are currently being analysed with the view to evaluate the information that was provided on the death notification at the time of death.
|Clinician reviewer training resources|
|Online training in medical certification of death for doctors|
A free online course for medical students and doctors to learn to correctly complete a medical certificate of cause of death and when to refer to forensic pathology. The alpha version can be found at:
Available on request from email@example.com
After linking the data collected in the study with the cause-of-death data collected by Statistics South Africa, this project will produce correction factors for the national cause-of death profile. The correction factors will be applied to provincial and district mortality profiles. These are likely to be more accurate than COD profiles currently reported and can be used for planning and monitoring the burden of disease in each district and prioritizing the responses to such burden. Lessons in the use of verbal autopsy questionnaires will inform the possibility of using these for routine collection of cause-of-death statistics.
|Project Steering Committee|
National Department of Health, Statistics South Africa, Department of Home Affairs, Epicentre
Prof. Chalapati Rao
Ms Cherie Cawood
Dr Erin Nichols (SEV #13740)*
Dr Estevão Afonso
Mr Francios Bezuidenhout
Dr Jessica Price
Prof. Johan Dempers
Mr Kassahun Ayalew (SEV # 8117)*
Prof. Kathleen Kahn
Prof. Lorna Martin
Ms Megan Prinsloo
Mrs Mireille Cheyip (SEV # 11361)*
Dr Nadine Nannan
Mr Nesbert Zinyakatira
Prof. Sam Clark
Dr Tshilidzi Muthivhi
Dr Beatrice Nojilana
Dr Carl Lombard
Dr Diane Morof (SEV #4764)*
Dr Erin Nichols (SEV #13740)*
Dr Frank Odhiambo
Dr Getahun Aynalem (SEV # 17998)*
Dr Ian Neethling
Dr Lyn Hanmer
Ms Mmamokete Mogoswane
Ms Mosidi Nhlapo
Prof Sam Notzon
Ms Sizzy Ngobeni
Dr Oluwatoyin Awotiwon
Dr Victoria Pillay-van Wyk
*CDC staff involvement does not constitute ‘engagement in human subjects research.’ CDC staff will not have access to individually identifiable private information or intervene/interact with study participants.
Phase 1: Epicentre
Phase 2: GeoSpace International
|SAMRC Ethics Committee approval|