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Demographic Surveillance Systems (DSS)

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Demographic Surveillance Systems: BACKGROUND

Surveillance involves actively following populations to detect births and deaths.

There are four main approaches:

Demographic Surveillance Systems (DSS) began in the 1960s as a means of tracking longitudinal demographic changes to populations in developing countries. Unlike prospective (cohort) studies, DSS are able to monitor entire populations and are usually larger and longer term. Field sites collect data on births, deaths (including causes) and migration which provide an important resource for evaluating health care interventions. They also offer a starting point for new studies. The INDEPTH Network (“An International Network for the Continuous Demographic Evaluation of Populations and Their Health in Developing Countries”), is an international network of 31 DSS field sites in 17 countries spanning Africa and Asia.

Identification of death:

Enumerators make initial census/count of population. Subsequently, an adult family member reports household deaths since the last update round (ranging from every two weeks to annual rounds). Enumerators probe on all births (pregnancies), deaths, and migrations.

Ascertainment of maternal/pregnancy related status

Advantages:

Limitations:

Measurement requirements:

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Indepth

Bulletin of the WHO

Oxford Journals - Health Policy and Planning

BMC Public Health

Tropical Medicine and International Health

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Indepth Network INDEPTH Network: An International Network for the Continuous Demographic Evaluation of Populations and Their Health in Developing Countries: http://www.indepth-network.org

Indepth Network

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