Importance of Appropriate and Reliable Population Data in Developing Regions to Understand Epidemiology of Diseases

  • Satoshi KanekoEmail author
  • Morris Ndemwa


Many developing countries lack a reliable resident registration system, resulting in difficult challenges in understanding health status of a population. Attempts have been made to establish an efficient system in developing countries, particularly in rural areas. WHO reported that only five African countries had vital registration systems covering more than 25% of their population. Such attempts made to bridge the gap include verbal autopsy tools within the HDSS program, the tools to capture causes of death guided by WHO principles of determining causes of death, where elaborated systems for defining causes of deaths do not exist. In addition, observational and interventional studies can be conducted within an established HDSS platform. The idea of HDSS originated from the concept of a prospective community study (PCS), which was aiming at prospective and logical observation of a community, to carry out demographic, public health and other research activities. HDSS is used as platform for other research activities. Further, platforms have been developed for data sharing within and HDSSs of the world managed by the INDEPTH Network (International Network for the Demographic Evaluation of Populations and Their Health in Developing Countries).

Functionality, reliability and data quality rely entirely on the size of budget for running program activities. Both household and individual data in communities can be used as a core for data sources related to health information that help to understand the actual health conditions expansively and systematically in communities. Biometric system is currently being used to identify individuals and for linkage purposes. Upcoming of eco-health research is influenced by the data collection system innovation and the surge of explorable data. Some technological limitations may occur, especially when dealing with the identification applications that use biometric system in cooperating large data. Ultimately, establishing a profound system for practice and development will be imperative for an eco-society for health systems. It will require collaborations among researchers with different expertise as well as data from various sources.

Procedure and impacts on public health of such system will be described here.


HDSS Resident registration Surveillance system Vital statistics Personal identification Biometrics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ecoepidemiology, Institute of Tropical MedicineNagasaki UniversityNagasakiJapan
  2. 2.NUITM-KEMRI Project, Kenya Research Station Nagasaki University Institute of Tropical Medicine (NUITM)NairobiKenya
  3. 3.Centre For Microbiology Research, KEMRINairobiKenya

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