Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Essential evidence for guiding health system priorities and policies: anticipating epidemiological transition in Africa
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. Umeå Centre for Global Health Research and MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit, School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5474-4361
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland and University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Carlton, Australia.
2014 (English)In: Global Health Action, ISSN 1654-9716, E-ISSN 1654-9880, Vol. 7, 158-168 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Despite indications that infection-related mortality in sub-Saharan Africa may be decreasing and the burden of non-communicable diseases increasing, the overwhelming reality is that health information systems across most of sub-Saharan Africa remain too weak to track epidemiological transition in a meaningful and effective way.

PROPOSALS: We propose a minimum dataset as the basis of a functional health information system in countries where health information is lacking. This would involve continuous monitoring of cause-specific mortality through routine civil registration, regular documentation of exposure to leading risk factors, and monitoring effective coverage of key preventive and curative interventions in the health sector. Consideration must be given as to how these minimum data requirements can be effectively integrated within national health information systems, what methods and tools are needed, and ensuring that ethical and political issues are addressed. A more strategic approach to health information systems in sub-Saharan African countries, along these lines, is essential if epidemiological changes are to be tracked effectively for the benefit of local health planners and policy makers.

CONCLUSION: African countries have a unique opportunity to capitalize on modern information and communications technology in order to achieve this. Methodological standards need to be established and political momentum fostered so that the African continent's health status can be reliably tracked. This will greatly strengthen the evidence base for health policies and facilitate the effective delivery of services.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
CoAction Publishing, 2014. Vol. 7, 158-168 p.
Keyword [en]
health services, epidemiological transition, health information, sub-Saharan Africa, health policy
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-90532DOI: 10.3402/gha.v7.23359ISI: 000336456100012PubMedID: 24848653OAI: diva2:728345

Special Issue: Epidemiological Transitions - Beyond Omran's Theory

Available from: 2014-06-24 Created: 2014-06-24 Last updated: 2016-06-27Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(409 kB)85 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 409 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full textPubMed

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Byass, Peter
By organisation
Epidemiology and Global Health
In the same journal
Global Health Action
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 85 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 71 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link