“Verbal autopsies” could reveal how millions live and die

“Since January, Kazi Mojammel Haque has had the sometimes difficult job of going door-to-door in villages in the Kaligonj region of Bangladesh to ask people for details of how their loved ones passed away. 

Haque is a field worker who has carried out 40 “verbal autopsies” so far — a research method for determining the probable cause of death when no formal medical records of the deceased may exist — as part of the Data for Health initiative. The program, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Department of Foreign Affairs of Australia, was designed to help 15 developing countries around the world improve their public health data collection methods. Think of the verbal autopsy as an interview with a standardized set of questions aimed at filling in the blanks for a person’s symptoms to help determine the ultimate cause of death.”

Read more on CBS NEWS