Country takes first steps into mortality coding


 Dr. Virginia Asin, Head Collective Prevention Services (CPS) of the Ministry of Public Health Social Development took part in a two weeks training of CAREC (Caribbean Research and Epidemiology Center) ICD-10 mortality coding, in Trinidad and Tobago.

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“This is another milestone for St. Maarten and I am happy that we are moving in the right direction when it comes to documenting and reporting on a local, regional and international level. We must continue raising our standards,” said Minister of Public Health Social Development & Labor, Hon. Cornelius De Weever.
Participants were taught what coding entails, what the regular rules and guidelines are for coding and special coding instruction for specific underlying causes of death. The training was a combination of knowledge and skill building with a lot of practice and hands on experience. By participating in this training, the first step has been set by the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development & Labor to start its own mortality reporting on St. Maarten.
This training was the first two weeks training ever organized by CAREC for Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) member countries of the Caribbean.
The instructors were two professionals from the National Center for Health Statistics from the Center of Disease Control & Prevention (NCHS/CDC) Tryngia Crawford and Celia Brooks supported by Sarah Quesnel, Senior Biostatistician at CAREC.
At the closing ceremony participants were informed that this was also the last training of this kind organized by CAREC.
As of January 2013 CAREC will cease to exist as a Regional Expert Center of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). This institute will be taken over by a new CARICOM Public Health Institute “CARPHA” and will be an Expert Institute for CARICOM member countries.
The next step is to put the acquired knowledge into practice. The Department of Public Health is already preparing for these next steps which include internal training sessions for staff and a visit from CAREC later in the year to evaluate and assess the progress to date.