Fighting Disease, Fighting Poverty, Giving Hope
Silwa Nezifo, Silwa Nobubha, Sinika Ithemba

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Epidemiology and Health Indicator Unit

Epidemiological Profile of KwaZulu-Natal

Aims and Expected Outcomes

Epidemiological Database

Health Statistical Bulletins


The use of demography and epidemiology in planning health services and interventions is well documented. Epidemiological evaluation of existing services provides a rational basis for setting priorities and allocating scarce health care resources. It is a contribution to planning and re-organization of existing and future health resources. The Epidemiology unit collects epidemiological and demographic data through several methods e.g. surveys.

Morbidity and mortality data have traditionally been used in determining health status of populations, health care needs and resource allocation. A common concern though, has always been about the accuracy of data, in particular, under reporting and under registering. Lack of reliable health information is one of the major obstacles to effective planning of health services in South Africa (SA).

Epidemiology is the basic tool to use in all aspect of daily activities. In order to better provide the Department of Health (DoH) with tools for making rational policy decisions and to contribute to the promotion of an information culture in SA, provincial epidemiological and demographic health information system (HIS) has been developed through establishment of an Epidemiology Unit within the DoH. Currently based on the out-parts of the Epi-Unit we find that Tuberculosis (TB), Trauma, HIV/AIDS and presently Cholera are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality of the province KwaZulu Natal

In order to organize an optimum preventative strategy for HIV, Trauma, TB, Cholera and other conditions of Public Health importance – knowledge in Epidemiology is of paramount importance.

The Epi Unit is envisaged to significantly contribute towards realization of the DoH’s vision of an optimal health status for the people of KwaZulu-Natal. The Unit shall at all times endeavor to contribute to the universal health policy objectives viz.:

  • Equity of Access
  • Efficiency (Allocative and Technical)
  • High Quality services
  • Comprehensive coverage of health care.
  • Accountability 
  • Decentralized management 
  • Responsiveness

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