National 13.9.2016 06:26 am

Vital health survey under threat

Image courtesy: Thinkstock

Image courtesy: Thinkstock

Some semi-urban and informal areas have proven to be difficult for fieldwork, because of inaccessibility.

SA Demographic and Heath Survey (SADHS) fieldworkers are experiencing challenges in some areas of the country, which is delaying the completion of data collection for a vital health survey, Stats SA has said.

Fieldworkers were not welcome in farming communities and high-walled suburban areas, it said. Some semi-urban and informal areas have also proven to be difficult for fieldwork, because of inaccessibility. These include Khayelitsha in Western Cape, and Harry Gwala in Free State.

“Stats SA would like to reiterate that this survey will be of benefit to South Africans in general as it would highlight areas that require health intervention from government and other nongovernmental organisation.

“It is critical the survey receives a high response rate, as information will be used to make key public health decisions.

“The survey will enable Stats SA to compile estimates on child and maternal mortality, fertility rates, and the prevalence of conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, among others,” the organisation said in a statement.

The SADHS is a sample survey conducted by Stats SA and the SA Medical Research Council on behalf of the department of health. The survey collects data from 15 000 sampled dwelling units between June and November this year and asks a wide range of questions on health, fertility, nutrition and family planning, among others.

The results of the survey will be used to measure the health status of South Africans, as well as the coverage and quality of selected health programmes.

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