Accurate mortality statistics are fundamental to help guide priorities in public health policy, planning, and resource allocation. Reliable information on levels of mortality and leading causes of death enables decision-makers to strategically design, fund, and implement programs to ensure the greatest possible impact on longevity and quality of life.
The thematic series, “Measuring mortality in Thailand”, published by Population Health Metrics, describes methods and results from what may be the largest-ever national investigation into the validity and quality of cause-of-death statistics in a developing country, using extensive field studies in Thailand to develop reliable estimates of mortality by age, sex, and cause. A commentary by Peter Byass discusses the four research papers by Rao and colleagues and considers methodological assessments and public health implications. The research papers relate to a detailed investigation of cause-specific mortality in Thailand during 2005, integrating a number of different data sources, including empirical investigations, death certification, and the use of verbal autopsy methods.
The research published in this thematic series could serve as a model for additional investigations into the quality of mortality statistics in other developing countries. The series Editor, Dr. Emmanuela Gakidou, is an Associate Editor for Population Health Metrics.
Population Health Metrics is ready to receive manuscripts on all aspects of the measurement of health at the population level.