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Verbal autopsy (VA) is a very useful tool in diagnosing broad causes of deaths for events that occur outside health facilities.

This article reports the development of the VA methods and our principal finding from a validation study.

Based on the presenting symptoms and examination, the cause of death is determined by the medical officer.An open narrative component together with closed questions was designed to allow chronological narratives to supplement the structured methods [ below.The adapted questionnaires were subsequently translated to Bahasa Malaysia, the local language and prepared in dual language, Bahasa Malaysia and English.However it is essential to validate VA methods within a population to understand the performance characteristics of the VA instrument and address any potential bias that arise, such as systematic over-estimation and under-estimation of deaths from particular causes [ A cross sectional study on nationally representative sample deaths that occurred in Malaysia during 2013 was used to ascertain causes of death using Verbal Autopsy (VA) methods.This study is part of a larger research project to test methodologies in a national sample of deaths to verify registered causes for hospital deaths, and determine causes for community deaths in Malaysia.This serves to highlight the extent of uncertainty in the current Malaysia mortality statistics.

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