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EPHA conducted standardization training on the Verbal Autopsy (VA)/ International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) coding of the Demographic and Health Surveillance Sites (DHSS) sites in the country (21 Febuarary 2011,DebreZeit)


During his opening speech Ato Fikrewold Haddis, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of the Association, remarked that the workshop is designed to standardize the Verbal Autopsy (VA)/ International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) coding of the DSS sites in the country.

Professor Misganaw Fantahun from the school of Public Health of AAU presented the definition, historical background, and applications of VA in identifying main health problems, comparing trends and changes over time, policy implications and planning interventions. After the brief presentation, issues related to VA tools, questionnaire, interviewer, the respondents, recall vs. mourning period and languages issues were discussed thoroughly.

“The main objectives of the training included: review of all the different types of the VA and ICD formats adopted from different sources that have been used by the DSS sites; consensus building to standardize and harmonize the VA and ICD coding formats that has been utilized across all the DSS sites,” Professor Misganaw explained. From the standardization discussion it was observed that more or less similar VA questionnaires are utilized by each DSS sites.


The participants finally discussed and reached a consensus on the following points: questionnaire for neonates; children and adults’ VA questionnaire; interviewers; respondents; recall period Vs mourning period; and language; driving cause of death in using different options like physician review, algorithms, data driven algorithms and Probabilistic types; single Vs multiple cause of death; medical certificate; classification of death list using VA and ICD shortlist; network reporting format and Data sharing issues among DSS  and authorship.