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Demographic Surveillance Systems in Burkina Faso: The Case of Nouna Health Research Center (CRSN)

Y. Yé, U. Wahser

The Nouna Health Research Center (CRSN) is a public health research institution, which started in the early 1990’s as a collaborative project between the Department of Tropical Hygiene and Public Health, Heidelberg (ATHOEG) and the Ministry of Health, Burkina Faso.

The center is located in the rural health district of Nouna some 300 kilometers north west of the capital Ouagadougou. Under the name of PRAPASS it started as a research project funded by the European Commission and the German Federal Ministry of Research and Technology. The main objectives include a) the scientific investigation of health conditions and the health system in rural Burkina Faso, b) the provision of the data collected through intervention-based research to health planners and policymakers and c) institutional capacity building in health research.

The Demographic Surveillance System of the center has conducted regular population census since 1992. It further comprises a vital events registration system and verbal autopsy interviews, which take place in intervals of three months. Currently the research zone covers 41 villages and one urban center with an overall population of 60.000 people.

Other important activities are the realization of longitudinal panel studies on aspects of morbidity and health financing at the household level as well as qualitative and quantitative studies in the fields of maternal and childhood mortality, and quality of health care.

The center has it's own line of information delivery, which is in some aspects parallel and redundant to the routine reporting structures of the national health services (HMIS). Linking the two systems beyond the mere exchange of demographic denominators can improve the quality of the results of both systems.

The presentation gives an overview of the information chain of the DSS. It will align the structure of the DSS to the structure of the HMIS in order to identify corresponding processes at different levels of the two systems. Potential interfaces are identified. Based on these, opportunities and obstacles towards a stronger interaction of the two systems are discussed.

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