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Breaking New Ground in Health and Nutrition
Source: The HSRC News
Source Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, Internet Governance
Country: South Africa
Created: Nov 30, 2011

The first in the series, the SANHANES-1 survey, is planned for 2011-2012. It aims to determine selected aspects of the health and nutritional status of South Africans of all ages, which will address and support the Department of Health’s priority health indicators. For this purpose, a random sample of 20 households will be selected from each of 500 enumerator areas. The households will be representative of the sociodemographic profile of South Africa. This cohort will be followed up regularly over the coming years. Data collection is scheduled to begin in 2011 and will be undertaken by 65 research teams based in the nine provinces. 

Each team will comprise a team leader, four field staff and three mobile clinic staff, yielding a total of 546 staff members. The Department of Health will make available 65 well-equipped mobile clinics to be used to undertake the survey in the nine provinces. 

The plan is to conduct this survey annually, using a modular design approach. This approach subdivides a system into smaller parts (modules) that can be independently created and then used in different systems to drive multiple functionalities.

The implementation of SANHANES will greatly facilitate both the detecting and tracking of the extent of current and emerging health priorities and the associated risk factors in the South African population of all ages. 

The survey, using modern technology, will generate information on the prevalence of specific diseases, together with the social determinants/drivers associated with the disease(s), the nutritional status of South Africans, as well as health promotion and disease prevention.

SANHANES will yield information and trends for determining national standards for weight, height and blood pressure. The survey will generate data that can be used to develop health policy and health programmes and services. It will also help South Africa to determine the health literacy of the nation; information that is vital for planning disease prevention and health promotion programmes.

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