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Systems of Vital Statistics in Brazil: advances, perspectives and challenges

About - Systems of Vital Statistics in Brazil: advances, perspectives and challenges

There are in Brazil two major systems of Vital Statistics. One is handled by the IBGE: Vital Statistics, which gather information on live births, marriages, deaths and still births reported by the Public Notaries of Civil Registry of Natural Persons and whose results constitute an important instrument to monitor the evolution of the Brazilian Population, especially in the intercensal period, when such statistics are indispensable for deeper demographic studies. The other one, created by the Ministry of Health, gathers the administrative records of the Live Birth Information System - Sinasc and the Mortality Information System - SIM, which provide data not only for the monitoring and analysis of the epidemiological profile, but also guidance to health management and to the design of health policies.

The different purposes justify the existence of both Systems of Vital Statistics. However, the recommendation of the United Nations Statistical Division - UNSD and the pursuit of a thorough coverage of the registries and notifications of births and deaths indicate the need for cooperation, harmonization and, preferably, integration between them. The challenge, thus, is to foster the harmonization between those two major official databanks. The present publication, divided into three chapters, fits in this context.

The first, Overview of Vital Statistics in Brazil, outlines a brief history of the Civil Registry of Natural Persons in the Country, with information on its legal framework and the evolution of the production of those statistics by the IBGE. It addresses aspects of the Information Systems of the Ministry of Health and focuses on the international principles and recommendations proposed by UNSD, identifying the requirements already met and any gaps to be filled. It also makes general considerations about the steps that can be taken towards the vital events full coverage in the Country, combined with improved information quality and the integration of the Systems.

The second chapter, Data Matching of Civil Registry and Vital Statistics (Live Birth and Mortality Information Systems) aims at assessing the coverage of the two databases and at measuring how many vital events were achieved by both sources or just by one of them. The partnership allows both the IBGE and the Ministry of Health to take actions to improve the coverage and operation of their respective Systems. The last chapter, Application of the Capture-Recapture Method to the vital statistics data: an empirical study, estimates, by means of an exploratory study, the total population and under-registration inherent to the two Systems, based on data from IBGE vital events and the Ministry of Health in 2015.

The simulations and the exercises proposed here are the beginning of a broad cooperation between the two main producers of information on Vital Statistics in Brazil. Its outcome will undoubtedly be the qualification of the data collected by both Institutions, the standardization of concepts and the improvement of the information provided, in order to fulfill the distinct purposes of sociodemographic studies and of promotion of the Brazilian public policies.