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It is important that there be regulations and guidelines for presentation of coded statistical data to facilitate international comparisons.
The source used to obtain mortality data is the medical certificate of the cause of death. The coding of the reported causes of death in accordance with ICD provides us with a workable database of information data with which to perform comparisons and statistical analyses.
Where no better system is in place, verbal autopsy may be an alternative. However data from medical certification and those from verbal autopsy differ in their level of detail, and in their reliability. They can be compared, but they should not be merged.