Data Collection in the Community

COMSA SL field data collection takes place in over 600 Primary Sampling Units (PSUs), across 190 chiefdoms in 16 districts and 4 provinces. Each PSU contains around 100 households and 550 people.


The household enumeration is conducted using electronic forms, both at baseline and annual follow-up. All current household members and deaths that occurred in the household within the previous year are enumerated.

Verbal Autopsy

With consent, all deaths are investigated by trained surveyors using electronic verbal autopsy (eVA), capturing the details of death by interviewing the family members of the deceased. The eVA uses the 2016 WHO Verbal Autopsy tool.

Determining Cause of Death

Each verbal autopsy narrative is reviewed by 2 physicians to determine the CoD through assigning ICD-10 codes, with reconciliation of differences and adjudication by a third physician if needed. WHO guidelines are customized for assigning ICD-10 codes.

Houses visited during COMSA round one survey.