Press Release

Policies and trends in vital statistics registration examined

26 August 2016
Head of Medical Statistics Department of Ministry of Health presents the recent trends in vital statistics registration

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan - Modern approaches to civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) was the topic of the round-table, organized by the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry (MoH) of Turkmenistan and UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund.  Participants examined the policies and national and international trends in vital statistics registration and proposed ways to further strengthen the CRVS system in Turkmenistan.

The round-table gathered representatives of the Department of Medical Statistics and Information of the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, Centers of the Medical Statistics of all velayats, State Statistics Committee of Turkmenistan, Civil Registration Offices and Ministry of Justice of Turkmenistan

Vital statistics provide basic data that serves as important indicators of developmental progress.  The population data includes infant mortality rate, the under-five mortality rate, the maternal mortality ratio, life expectancy at birth and the crude death rate, among many others.  Policymakers need this accurate data to make the right decision on where to invest in schools, hospitals and roads.

“Well-functioning system of civil registration serves as the main source of official vital statistics. Most of the decisions taken with regard to public health priorities and effective delivery of public services are based on the data of the CRVS system,” said Bahar Agayeva, Head of the Department of Medical Statistics of the Ministry of health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan.  “Therefore, timely, high-quality and consistent interagency work at all levels of data processing for civil registration are essential to the reliability of vital statistics.”During the meeting, the participants reviewed and discussed the latest changes and trends in legislation and best international practices to see how they can strengthen the registration system and achieve more effective inter-sectoral cooperation in the country. 

Turkmenistan is one of the leading countries globally in the process of adapting the Sustainable Development Goals to its national development programmes and strategies.  The meeting participants specifically revisited the target of the SDG 16 on providing legal identity for all, including birth registration by 2030, and the indicator on percentage of children under age five whose birth is registered with a civil authority.

Addressing the challenge of achieving timely registration, the participants referred to the best international practices.  The experience of other countries shows that the timeliness can be ensured through digitizing civil registration and vital statistics processes.  Such digital systems ease the process of civil registration and provide governments with a continuous and immediate source of information for policy decision-making. 

In Turkmenistan, UNFPA works with the Government in bringing the data collection system in compliance with the international standards.  Within the past years of partnership, the data collection practices were harmonized between the government agencies, specifically on vital registration data collection.  Electronic form-19 on data on pregnant women was introduced into the statistical system of Turkmenistan and installed country-wide.  New indicators on “at risk women” were incorporated into the Form-19 use of data on pregnant women as part of the country’s efforts to achieve universal access to reproductive health.  The SaglykInfo database, also developed with UNFPA support, has been brought in compliance with international standards and used as a primary source of data for monitoring and analysis of the national development plans and health related international reporting.

“Vital statistics and their subsequent analysis and interpretation are essential for setting targets and evaluating social and economic plans, including the monitoring of health and population intervention programmes, and the measurement of important demographic indicators of quality of life,” said Ms. Bayramgul Garabayeva, UNFPA Assistant Representative.  “UNFPA stands ready to support the Government in further strengthening the utilization of the accurate and reliable data in policy making and government programmes around population issues, gender equality and reproductive health.”


For additional information, please contact:

Dovran Yamatov, National Programme Associate

on Population and Development and Gender Equality

Ene Tuyliyeva, Advocacy Communication Associate

Tel: 269255