IDSB04H3 Chapter 5: IDSB04 Week 4 Reading

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IDSB04 Week 4 Reading
Chapter 5 Data on Health: What Do We Know, What Do We Need to Know, and
Why Does It Matter
- Political economy approach to global health requires on health data in order to provide a theoretical framing of the factors
underpinning the distribution of health and sickness
o This information must be able to be analyzed
Why Health Data Matters
Key Questions:
- Why are the collection, analysis, and the interpretation of health data important?
- What can health data tell us about health inequities?
- What is at stake, political and technically in generating health data that can be used to promote accountability and health
equity?
- Data that is obtained at national and international levels are are believed to be used as the foundation for public health
decision making
- Some uses and limitations of population data include (Table 5-1):
o Uses = To gauge trends and identify emerging problems and needs, planning, to serve information needs of
governments
o Limitations = Political and institutional decision making affects data that is collected, mortality and morbidity data
does not provide causal pathways nor do they explain how and why health and disease rates follow patterns
- Table 5-2 Commonly Used Health Indicators
o Life expectancy = a calculation of how long people are expected to live given current age-specific mortality rates
- A lot of the available data excludes half of the population therefore they are only estimations
o In LMICs, the research and resources that are needed to gather data are not available because they are expensive
therefore they are not able to obtain quality data
- Summary statistics (aggregate health indicators that describe population-ide health) do’t eally sho the diffeet soial
classes, geographic locations, occupation, gender, race and other important factors
o Taking into account race and class often show a striking difference in data
- Many variables that directly affect health such as pollution, housing quality and poverty, are key parts to addressing the
root causes of ill health and premature death
- Louis René Villermé investigated mortality patterns in different neighborhoods of Paris and discovered that disease was
influenced by topographic and climate features they were linked with poverty
- Edwin Chadwick and Friedrich Engels found similar population patterns of health the health status was worst among
those populations who were exposed most to economic exploitation and oppression
o Chadwich advocated meliorative public health and environmental cleanup without improvements in wages or
working conditions, while Engels called for revolution to end the capitalist and class exploitation that produced this
poverty
- The data problems around health inequities are best seen in HICs they have the resources to collect data
- Population health data matters a low in order to create action
Types of Health Data
Key Questions:
- What are the major kinds of health-related data?
- What are the challenges involved in collecting and using health data?
- How do these challenges, including gaps in the data affect our understanding of, and actions to address, population health
and health inequities?
- Who counts? this is a key issue when conducting a political economy of health analysis
- Basic categories of health-related data:
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o Population data = the number of people in a population, who in the population are at risk for disease, diability and
death
o Vital statistics = live births; deaths by sex/gender, age, and cause
o Morbidity statistics = Morbidity by type, severity, and outcome
o Health services statistics = numbers and types of facilities and services available; distribution, qualifications, and
functions of personnel; nature of services, diagnostic and treatment modalities etc.
o Data on social determinants of health inequities = societal factors that lead to inequities in health
- Health data is often used by politicians, analysts, and advocates who use the data to monitor and compare populations
within and across countiries, set policy agendas, evaluate the effects of particular programs etc.
o It can be challenging to interpret health-related data because of the metrics this can result in distortions
- Health data can also be used in contested political and economic debates
o Advocates for specific causes or diseases may release selective health statistics to get more disproportionate
funding
- Health impact assessment (HIA) this looks at the health effects of both public and private sector actions in diverse arenas,
which include zoning, transportation, environmental hazards, labor, energy and education
o They call for action and accountability on the part of decision makers
Population Health Data
- Two types of data are needed toe calculate a rate of disease, disability or death
o They number of cases (numerators) and the number of persons from whom these cases arise (dominators)
- Population health health for a country of defined geographical area are usually obtained through:
o Enumeration = census of the population
Census data is used to determine taxation, labor, inheritance
o Registration = routine collection of vital statistics such as births, marriages, and deaths
- Distributions of the population of three different countries this is known as an age pyramid where the shape of each
pyramid is affect by birth rates at particular periods in time and death rates for each age group
Census Procedures and Cost
- Data that is collect through a census are to be characterized by classifiers including age, sex/gender, education, literacy
status, occupation, and ethnic group
o Politial osideatios also shape hat data is olleted a hat data is’t olleted
- Essential featues of a national population census
o Individual enumeration, universality within a defined territory, simultaneity, defined periodicity
Census-Taking around the Globe
- Methods vary around the world
o Some countries conduct their census by doing door to door
Limitations of Census Data
- Coverage of large populations is never perfect
- Prior experience with census-taking, available equipment and human resource capacity allow for census counts possible
Challenges in Classification
- Askig fo a peso’s yea of ith is oe auate tha askig fo thei age
- The use of racial and ethnic classification on census counts may be used in how people are classified predetermines the
types of conclusion that can be drawn
- The apartheid bureaucracy in South Africa collected census and vital information according to categories such as: Black,
White, Asian, Colored these were used to enforce different treatment under the law, unequal distribution of education
and welfare funds even though the apartheid is over, these categories still exist in their health statistics and census counts
Vital Statistics
- Data that is collected through civil registration of major life events such as birth, adoption, marriage, divorce and death
- Where effective registration systems exist, the availability of good quality data is often taken for granted
o Under the best circumstances, vital statistics provide about 95% coverage, with gaps due to non-registration of
temporary or undocumented worked, technical errors and poor coverage of marginalized populations
o Under the worst circumstances, in about 40 countries, less than 25% of deaths are registered
History of Birth, Marriage, and Death Records
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Document Summary

Chapter 5 data on health: what do we know, what do we need to know, and. Political economy approach to global health requires on health data in order to provide a theoretical framing of the factors underpinning the distribution of health and sickness: this information must be able to be analyzed. Data that is obtained at national and international levels are are believed to be used as the foundation for public health decision making. Some uses and limitations of population data include (table 5-1): uses = to gauge trends and identify emerging problems and needs, planning, to serve information needs of governments. Limitations = political and institutional decision making affects data that is collected, mortality and morbidity data does not provide causal pathways nor do they explain how and why health and disease rates follow patterns. Life expectancy = a calculation of how long people are expected to live given current age-specific mortality rates.

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