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Civil registration and vital statistics systems

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The office of the Registrar of Births and Deaths is a unit of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and is responsible for vital registration. District Registrars are employees of local councils (local government) but are supervised by staff of the MoHS. Almost all of the 149 Chiefdoms have a Community Health Officer (an employee of MoHS) who registers births and deaths. A careful assessment of the vital statistics system has not been carried out, to determine the extent of completeness of registration of births and deaths in the country.

There is a national office for Civil Registration of all Sierra Leoneans and other nationals living in Sierra Leone.

Historically, the Central Vital Statistics Office has been a unit of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation. District Registrars are employees of local councils (local government) but are supervised by staff of the MoHS. Almost all of the 149 Chiefdoms have a Community Health Officer (an employee of MoHS) who registers births and deaths. One assessment concluded that “the deaths reported on by the Vital Statistics Office (VSO) may represent less than 1% or 2% of all deaths”8. A careful assessment of the vital statistics system has not been carried out. In fact, this is one of the activities to be funded with the grant from HMN.