Chapter 5

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Department
International Development Studies
Course
IDSB04H3
Professor
Anne- Emanuelle Birn
Semester
Fall

Description
IDSB04 - Introduction to International Health th October 5 , 2010 Chapter 5: Data and Health Health related information, and knowing how to obtain it, is essential to taking action to improve health. Health data play a vital role in helping to identify needs and shape solutions. Many Countries have limited data collection capacity at a national or sub national levels, leaving policy makers to rely on extrapolations of older data or data from other countries. Such data may be of limited relevance and may even jeopardize population health by indicating erroneous needs and priorities. Health professionals and other decision makers may overlook the crucial subject of health related info due to time constraints andor a lack of training on how to collect, interpret, and disseminate health data. Challenges of Health Data: Data is tabulated at national and international levels and are believed to be unequivocal baseline for public health decision making. Understanding the patterns of health and mortality in a population, and being able to act on this info, also requires knowledge of the social distribution of these patterns and the constellation of factors that affect the health of the population and the individual. Despite increasing recognition of the influence of social, political, and economic factors on both illness and death, in most settings these variables are insufficiently captured by routine health statistics collection. As well as many variables that directly influence health such as rainfall, pollution, living conditions, and transportation do not typically qualify as health statistics, although they may be vital in uncovering and addressing the multiple underlying causes of ill health. For these reasons a strict reliance on narrowly defined health data may not accurately portray valuable areas of policy development and evaluation. When the basic starting point in decision making and priority setting in public health is derived from flawed or weak data, there are obvious challenges in interpreting the findings and making decisions based on that data. One of the first priorities in public health research must be to secure reliable health statistics collections. However, data costs money and the higher quality it is the more it costs. Therefore in general where disease occurrence is highest, the numbers are least trustworthy. Assumptions Related to Health Data: www.notesolution.com
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