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Deaths

NATIONAL MORTALITY REGISTER
 
Contact Person: Dr Kathleen England

Mortality statistics are an important source of information that can be used to monitor the health status of a country as well as to compare social, economic and health conditions in different population groups.
 
Infant mortality has traditionally been considered a good indicator of the overall health and development of the country.

 
AIMS
  • To collect, code and store data in a format recognised internationally about all deaths occuring on the Islands of Malta and Gozo.
  • To analyse this data and produce information which can be used in the planning of health policies and systems as well as evaluation of the effectiveness of health care plans.
  • To have complete and accurate data which can be used in epidemiological studies.
  • To provide a source of information to health care professionals, students and the general public which can be used for studies and research purposes.
  • To answer queries posed by parliament as well as the media.
  • To provide information for the National Statistics Office, World Health Organisation, EUROSTAT and EMCDDA.


BACKGROUND

Published mortality data by cause of death are available since 1872 in Malta. These were produced in the form of a fortnightly report published by the Chief Police Physician. Annual reports after 1896 were published by the Chief Government Medical Officer.
 
The Department of Health Information and its forerunners have been responsible for keeping mortality data since 1983.


COVERAGE

All death certificates of people who die in the Maltese Islands are received at the department and the Malta National Mortality Registry is responsible for coding, inputting, verification of the information and analysing the data in order to produce mortality statistics which are as accurate and timely as possible.


DATA COLLECTION AND SOURCES OF INFORMATION

The main source of information is the death certificate.
 
Accuracy and detail is increased by looking through the deceased patient's file, discussion with certifying doctor as well as collaboration with pathologists and the police especially regarding deaths due to external causes. The National Cancer Registry is another important source of information used.
 
Causes of death are coded according to the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD). ICD Version 10 has been in use since 1995. ICD is an international standard diagnostic classification which permits the systematic recording, analysis, interpretation and comparison of mortality data. It is used to translate diagnoses of diseases from words into alphanumeric code, which permits easy storage, retrieval and analysis of the data.


NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS

At a national level the Malta National Mortality Registry is in close collaboration with The National Statistics Office. Internationally association with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Statistical Office of the European Communities (EUROSTAT) and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) exists. These entities receive information regarding mortality in Malta on a yearly basis.


TRAINING FOR CERTIFIERS

Although most doctors are confronted with the task of completing death certificates, many do not receive adequate training in this skill. Resulting inaccuracies in information undermine the quality of the data derived from death certificates (Myers et al., 1998).
 
The EU has created a training package on certification of causes of death. This package is aimed at medical teachers, physicians, including general practitioners, hospital doctors and specialists such as pathologists and toxicologists as well as medical students.
 
The intended use of this package is to assist certifiers in providing quality information in areas where common problems occur by giving instructions and practical examples on the correct completion of the medical part of death certificates.
 
The recommended death certificate according to WHO guidelines has 4 lines in part I of the medical part of the death certificate. The examples presented also follow these guidelines. The underlying cause of death, initiating the train of events which will eventually lead to death must be written on the lowest used line of part I of the death certificate.

The EU training package covers:

a basic EU manual on certification  

a Web-based training tool

 
These products were part of an EU project lead by ISTAT (Italian National Institute of Statistics) in collaboration with member states. Member states were then responsible for national adaptation of this training material.


PUBLICATIONS
 
To view files in pdf format your computer needs to have the Acrobat Reader installed. Click here to download.

 
TRENDS IN MORTALITY BY CAUSE OF DEATH​



ANNUAL REPORTS

Below are the annual reports published by the registry in the past 5 years.  To download all other annual reports published from 2008 to 1998 in pdf format, go to our Archive page

Annual Report 2013         


FACT SHEETS


REVISED DEATH CERTIFICATE 

Revised Death Certificate​ (May be completed online, printed, signed and sent in the usual manner.) 

Word version of death certificate available on request


INTERNATIONAL LINKS
 
EUROSTAT.New Cronos 


CONFIDENTIALITY STATEMENT
 
The National Mortality Registry collects and processes personal information regarding deaths for statistical and research purposes and in the interests of public health. All data is collected and processed in accordance to the Data Protection Act (Malta, 2001). The Registry does not disclose identifiable data unless the law permits it. All individuals are entitled to know what information the Registry holds about themselves.