verbal autopsy

So this week's meeting for the Asia Pacific region in Bangkok, and a similar meeting planned for Africa in 2015, present a unique challenge and opportunity. We have the methods and tools for universal civil registration of births and deaths on a worldwide basis - let's make it happen!
Figures on births, lives and deaths are technically known as "vital statistics" - literally meaning statistics about life. But they are also vital in another sense - planners of health care and other services desperately need to know about the populations they are trying to serve, rather than relying on guesses and assumptions.