“Real-time” monitoring of under-five mortality: Lessons for strengthened vital statistics systems

Civil registration and vital statistics systems are increasingly recognized as drivers of human rights, health, and development programs—especially for women and children. Vital statistics systems are weak in most low-income countries, precisely where the burden of maternal and child deaths is highest and, therefore, the need for up-to-date, high-quality estimates of levels and trends in maternal and child mortality is greatest. The UN Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health identified the reporting of births and deaths as a cornerstone for vital statistics systems in low-income countries. This has led to intensified efforts to support and strengthen the routine reporting of vital events.

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