Every Death Counts, and Counting Every Death Matters

An estimated 9.7 million people die each year in India—more than New York City’s entire population—yet many deaths go undocumented.

That’s a problem for public health. The missing data could inform public health decision-making, including identifying hotspots and inequities.

  • During the pandemic, for example, India officially recorded averages of around 3,000 or 4,000 Covid-19 deaths per day—but analysts who saw signs of much higher mortality had little data to back their concerns.

And India’s not alone:

  • More than 100 countries lack proper systems to record births and deaths, according to Vital Strategies.
  • Two-thirds of deaths are never accounted for globally, according to the WHO.

Bright spot: Decentralized, locally driven collection and verbal autopsy projects are helping to close the gaps.



Many States Are Not Reporting The Latest COVID-19 Numbers – NPR

Florida changed its COVID-19 data, creating an ‘artificial decline’ in recent deaths – Miami Herald

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