(An) experimental study on improvement of vital statistics in rural Korea
Accurate vital statistics are necessary for evaluation and development in the
health and medical as well as other fields. However, it is difficult to obtain
accurate statistics regarding vital events such as birth and death in this country.
According to the annual statistical report of 1966, only 52% of the estimated
actual number of births and 78% of deaths were reported in that year. Thus the
specific purpose of this study is to improve vital statistics with such methods as,
1) prompt reporting of vital events by village chiefs without the delaying factors
caused by administrative process, 2) appointing a delivery kit holder in each
village and requiring him to record vital statistics, 3) reporting vital events
through elementary schoolchildren and classroom teachers, and 4) teaching people in
the experimental area the importance of vital statistics.
For the study area 13 villages were chosen in Choongbu-Myun, Kwangju County,
located 26 kilometers southeast of Seoul. For a one year period beginning November,
1967, prenatal, post-natal and IUD services were provided for 795 eligible women
out of a population of 5,656, which included 982 households. These services were
used as an incentive for improvement of vital statistics.
The results of the study are briefly summarized as follows:
1. The reporting of vital events rose from 18% to 26% of total births and from 3%
to 18% of total deaths (as found through preliminary and post-study surveys.)
2. The reporting rate of vital events, by informants, was 44.6%(birth) and
45.0%(death) by kitholders, 33.8%(birth) and 25.0%(death) by schoolchildren,
21.6%(birth) and 30.0%(death) by village chiefs.
3. a) In the post-survey 63% of the women were found to understand the method of
reporting vital events to the village chief. The better educated they were and the
more understanding they had of mass media, the more they knew about reporting
b) For the study area as a whole, more villagers understood the regulations
concerning the reporting of vital events after the study period(60%) than before
the study period(30%), as measured by the pre- and post-surveys.
4. Compared with their knowledge of delivery care(68%), prenatal care(64%), and
family planning(80%), 42% of the women utilized delivery kits, 15% received
prenatal care and 21% carried out family planning.
In short, it was found that the reporting of vital events was improved in the
study period through the methods outlined above.