Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world, recently used for the first time the integrated verbal and social autopsy (VASA) tool to assess the biological causes and social and health system determinants of neonatal and child deaths. These notes summarize the Nigerien experience in the use of this new tool, the steps taken for high level engagement of the Niger government and stakeholders for the wide dissemination of the study results and their use to support policy development and maternal, neonatal and child health programming in the country. The experience in Niger reflects lessons learned by other developing countries in strengthening the use of data for evidence-based decision making, and highlights the need for the global health community to provide continued support to country data initiatives, including the collection, analysis, interpretation and utilization of high quality data for the development of targeted, highly effective interventions. In Niger, this is supporting the country's progress toward achieving Millennium Development Goal 4. A follow- up VASA study is being planned and the tool is being integrated into the National Health Management Information System. VASA studies have now been completed or are under way in additional sub-Saharan African countries, in each through the same collaborative process used in Niger to bring together health policy makers, program planners and development partners.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health