1.1 Module Aims and Rationale
The Vision of the School of Public Health is to contribute to the optimal health of populations living in a healthy and sustainable environment in developing countries, particularly Africa, with access to an appropriate, high quality, comprehensive and equitable health system, based on a human rights approach.
The aim of this module is to enhance the measurement skills required to achieve this vision.
The module is designed to advance your skills, knowledge and capacity to:
Critically review and interpret basic epidemiological texts.
Define and measure health and illness events in communities.
Assess the quality and relevance of data used to describe community health and illness.
Apply descriptive epidemiology concepts and principles to achieve effective Public Health practice.
The module explores practical ways to measure health and health care outcomes in the course of your work. It also aims to equip Public Health workers in health programmes, health districts or other health facilities with the ability to critically assess the epidemiological information that they encounter, and to use this information to address Public Health problems and priorities.
1.2 Module Outline
The module consists of three units divided into a total of 15 study sessions. Each study session has at least one main reading or reference text and various learning activities or tasks designed to help you to explore the topics listed below. Study sessions vary in length, and may take between five and eight hours to complete. The three units are as follows:
Unit 1 - What is Descriptive Epidemiology?
1.3 Learning Outcomes
|By the end of this module, you are expected to be able to:|
1.4 Texts and References
A reading list of the texts referred to in the study sessions is included in the panel on the left of the screen.
The following text is required for this module:
- Vaughan, J. P. & Morrow, R. H. (1989). Manual of Epidemiology for District Health Management. Geneva: WHO. [ISBN 92 4 154404 X]
The SOPH has obtained permission from WHO to reproduce copies of this book. This assistance is gratefully acknowledged.It would also be useful to own a copy or to borrow copies of these books from a library:
- Katzenellenbogen, J. M., Joubert, G. & Abdool Karim, S. S. (1997). Epidemiology: A Manual for South Africa. Cape Town: Oxford University Press. [ISBN: 0 19 571308 7]
- Beaglehole, R., Bonita, R. & Kjellstrom, T. (1993). Basic Epidemiology. Geneva: WHO. [ISBN 92 4 154446 5]
You will also be expected to pursue relevant current literature and additional resource material for your assignment tasks.
The following websites may be helpful to you in the course of this module:
|Statistics South Africa||http://www.statssa.gov.za|
|Health Systems Trust||http://www.hst.org.za|
|World Wide Web Virtual Library: Epidemiology||http://www.epibiostat.ucf.edu/epidem/epidem.htm|
|Dictionary of epidemiology||http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/~js229/glossary.html|
Supercourse: Epidemiology, internet & global health