Why the Pandemic Could Change the Way We Record Deaths

September 25, 2020

(NPR) – According to World Health Organization data, each year, two-thirds of global deaths are not registered with local authorities. That’s a total of 38 million annual deaths that aren’t part of any permanent record. Not only are the numbers not part of any global death tally, but the cause of death is also not recorded — leaving policymakers without critical information about population trends and health. Now, that vast undercount of deaths might be changing — thanks to the virus. It’s pushed the science of death-counting into the international spotlight, highlighting the importance of strong and developed death registries.