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Strengthening Health Data

Today, approximately half of all deaths in the world go unrecorded; accordingly, health policy decisions are often based on inadequate information. Data for Health, co-funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Australian government, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, partners with low- and middle-income countries to improve public health data and use of data for policymaking.

Data for Health

Data for Health works with governments to strengthen and standardize birth and death records to better inform policy making and improve public health outcomes. Through 2020, more than five million death records have been newly collected or improved, and more than 30,000 health professionals have been trained to better collect or analyze related information.

Data for Health partner countries are exploring new ways of monitoring risk factors for early death. The initiative also supports cancer registries that track diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes at the country level. As part of its newest phase, Data for Health has expanded its partnership to more than 40 countries reaching nearly five billion people; we now have not only multi-year comprehensive partnerships with governments (25 countries) but are now also including support for smaller scale time-bound projects (15 countries so far, with more planned).

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Janvier Ngabonziza, right, interviews Lyiza Uwimbabazi about her sister who passed away recently during a "verbal autopsy" in Rwamagana, Rwanda. The verbal autopsies now being done in Rwanda rely upon tools developed by Bloomberg Data for Health and approved by the WHO. The same toolset is also being deployed in pilot programs in Tanzania, Zambia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and a handful of other locations. Photo credit: AP Photo and Felipe Dana
Janvier Ngabonziza, right, conducts a "verbal autopsy" interview with Lyiza Uwimbabazi about her sister why passed away recently in Rwamagana, Rwanda. Data for Health supports many partner countries to use verbal autopsies to capture causes of death for deaths that happen outside of hospital settings – often a majority of deaths in many Data for Health partner countries. Photo credit: Felipe Dana/AP Photo

Top photo: Bangladesh family registers birth of their child with support from Data for Health initiative.