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Destined to : Health professionals responsible for completing the cause of death on the death certificate.
Duration: 4 hours (non-continuous)
Certification : It is obtained after an evaluation process .
Cost: FREE
Counselor / tutor): NO 
Registration: View Access Guide

This course was developed under the PAHO Regional Action Plan for Strengthening Vital and Health Statistics (Spanish acronym PEVS) and its inter-country component, the Latin American and Caribbean Network for Strengthening Health Information Systems (RELACSIS). It was developed in partnership with MEASURE Evaluation and based on the original practice offered to the network by the Unit of National Health Information (UINS) of the Directorate General of Health (DIGESA) of the Ministry of Public Health of Uruguay. Professionals from Chile and the WHO Collaborating Centers for the International Family of Classifications for Mexico (CEMECE) and Argentina (CACE) also participated in the development of the course. 

  • To provide countries in the region with a virtual course to raise physicians’ awareness on the appropriate manner to record the cause of death.
  • To contribute to the improvement of the certification of deaths and hence to obtain more precise statistics on mortality and causes of death, thus supporting the evaluation of public policies and decision making for the health benefit of the population.

The course is offered in Spanish, English and French.

Objective of the course

Participants will know how to adequately complete a Death Certificate according to standards established by the Word Health Organization.

How to access the course

Access to the course is free. It is a self-learning virtual course, available at PAHO Virtual Campus for Public Health.

The course can be accessed from any computer or mobile device connected to the Internet.

Number of participants

All medical doctors responsible for filling out the death certificate in a hospital or any other health facility are strongly encouraged to participate in this course. Final year medical students are also encouraged to participate. 

Time period

The course takes approximately 4 hours or can be taken over a period of time, accordingly to the availability of each participant. 


The course covers six topics:

  • Introduction
  • Uses of death certificate
  • Mortality statistics
  • International standard format
  • Decalogue for certification
  • Simulations

At the end of the course the participant can take a test to obtain a certificate (PAHO/WHO).

For Instructions (Access / Contents / Certificate) please:

Download Tutorial / Access Guide

Technical Consultations (Access / Registration / Testing / Certifications): Help Desk

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