Demographic surveillance and health equity in sub-Saharan Africa
Ngom,Pierre; Binka,Fred N.; Phillips,James F.; Pence,Brian Wells; MacLeod,Bruce
Health Policy and Planning 16(4): 337-344
Publication date: 2001
Accurate data are always needed to inform health policy, butare especially critical in tackling health inequities. The growingnumber of field research stations in sub-Saharan Africa arewell-placed to generate relevant data and so support healthpolicy action.Over the past 60 years, demographic surveillance systems havebeen crucial research tools for the evaluation of health interventionsaimed at reducing socioeconomic differentials in mortality andmorbidity in sub-Saharan Africa. The bulk of such work has beencarried out by field research sites, often operating in remote,resource-constrained settings. The present paper reviews whatwe have learned since the pioneering work carried out in thefield sites of Pholela (South Africa) and Niakhar (Senegal).It then focuses on current efforts to address health equitythrough INDEPTH, the international network of field sites withcontinuous demographic evaluation of population and their healthin developing countries.