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The SPD is also designed with the intention to provide rapid-response enquiries into implementation status and effectiveness of specific policy initiatives including health system reforms.
Last, the SPD offers the opportunity for fundamental and operational research, including research on social determinants of health and equity analyses.
Quantification of deaths and establishing causes of deaths in communities has been shown to perform well through the use of verbal autopsy methods.
However, like many LMIC, Tanzania lacks a comprehensive vital registration system and hence is unable to produce nationally representative annual estimates of key demographic variables including mortality rates and causes.
SPD covers a total of 23 nationally representative districts of the Mainland Tanzania and is implemented through two arms: the Facility-Based Information System (FBIS) and the SAmple Vital registration with Verbal autops Y (SAVVY).
Tanzania’s NBS selected the districts primarily for use in implementing the SAVVY arm.
Informed consent was elicited from interview participants during SAVVY censuses and verbal autopsy interviews.
Informed consent was not required for FBIS data from health facilities review as there was no direct contact with participants and data contained no identification of patients, as these were aggregated at district level. Health facilities: first round in 2010 followed by continuous repeated monthly surveys.
These health service use data are collected monthly at all public and private health facilities in SPD districts, i.e. Both SAVVY and FBIS systems are capable of generating supplementary information from nested periodic surveys.
This demand has exposed the major gaps in quality and timeliness of health statistics in many low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) and provides an opportunity for countries to improve their health information systems.
For example, estimation of mortality and its causes in such countries is usually done by quantification of deaths in a specific area and period, establishing causes of the deaths (for the numerator) and counting the population within the area under study (for the denominator).
Follow-up questions were asked for female household members on number of children.
During baseline census, data on retrospective death events of the past 12 months were also collected.