In 2007, the global ‘scandal of invisibility’ was revealed in the Who Counts? series in The Lancet journal. The ‘scandal’ was caused by a lack or inadequacy of civil registration systems for counting births, deaths and causes of deaths.
Before we had accurate data of what people were dying from, allocating resources into research, prevention, management and treatment of diseases was unmanageable. There was no roadmap.
Luckily with the increasing capabilities of technology to bring together scientists who were once separated geographically or by different disciplines, we now have the ability to track and estimate disease, injuries and risk factors down to the specifics, and with a level of accuracy that we couldn’t have imagined before.
This video from 2015 at the beginning of our project illustrates the big picture of why we need data.
How good is the data globally?
The map below published in The Lancet from 2015 before our project started, gives a snapshot of how well CRVS systems are performing around the world between the years of 1980 and 2012, looking at the best, rather than the most recent score.