Experts train police officers on issuance of death certificates

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A group of experts, with the sponsorship of Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative, have trained police officers on Medical Certification of Cause of Death (MCCD).

Speaking at the training Friday in Abuja, the 15th Force Medical Officer (FMO), CP Dr. Garba Nzukwen Emmanuel, said that police officers specially need the training in order to help the National Population Commission (NPC) record data in order for the federal government to plan.

He said: “This is a very laudable project because as medical doctors, our role as death certifiers and notifiers cannot be over-emphasised, unfortunately for most of us, MCCD training or certification of death was not included in our curriculum while in medical school.

“Vital statistics (VS) as the name implies, is vital to the assessment and monitoring of a nation’s goals including Nigeria, just like the ‘vitals’ our living patients undergo when they visit the hospital to assess/monitor their clinical situation.

“Note the emphasis on the ‘living patients’, because as doctors we also attend to the dead in various forms e.g. declaration of death, certification of death, notification of death, closure for the family and friends or the bereaved, humanitarian and medicolegal death investigation etc, as part of the general management of the dead.

“Many of the health facilities’ administrators in Nigeria are medical doctors with similar proportions in the Nigeria Police Medical Services, so I am sure this workshop will not only include learning objectives that cover documentation of statement of cause of death leading to data capture by the relevant agency – the National Population Commission but also touch on the importance of the overall process of CRVS.

“The workshop will also serve as a Continuous Medical Education (CME) with relevant points and certificate of participation will be given to participants.”

On his part, Force Pathologist, CSP (Dr) Samuel Keshinro, said that the training will aide police officers in the discharge of their duties as they are often confronted with challenges on how to report cause of deaths and obtain Medical Certification of Cause of Death (MCCD).