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Information systems and community diagnosis in low- and middle-income countries 

Information systems and community diagnosis in low- and middle-income countries
Chapter:
Information systems and community diagnosis in low- and middle-income countries
Author(s):

Peter Cherutich

and Ruth Nduati

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199661756.003.0101
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date: 24 September 2019

Community diagnosis, the systematic documentation of the burden of disease, risk factors, and coverage of health interventions at the population level, is a public health imperative. Community diagnosis when correctly applied informs the prioritization of resources for health and lays the foundation for addressing disparities in health outcomes. The metrics that are pertinent to low- and middle-income settings include mortality, risk factor surveillance, effective coverage, and health system utilization and capacity. These are expensive to measure and require a combination of methods and information systems including household surveys, vital registration and demographic health surveillance systems, verbal autopsy, and health facility records. This chapter outlines the priority health metrics and their data sources and address some of the methodological challenges of the various methods of community diagnosis. As international health priorities evolve, countries have to demonstrate, through robust methods and tools, that the burden of disease in their regions warrants further global attention. Therefore, low- and middle-income countries need to invest in these information systems and seize opportunities offered by increasing access to technology and the Internet to strengthen community diagnosis.

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