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The strengths and limitations of using hospital records to assess environmental health in Karonga

Volume : 32 issue : 1, page(s) : 233-256
Article first published online : July 18, 2019 ; Issue published : April 1, 2020
Donald Brown

16 novembre 2020

This paper explains the methods that were used to study environmental health problems in Karonga, a rapidly growing secondary urban centre in Malawi. The study used existing information from hospital records and consulted local health officials and academics on how best to use it. The aim was to position the hospital as a disease surveillance site by using its records to generate disaggregated health data at the intra-urban scale. This paper identifies the strengths and limitations of using hospital data to inform joint urban planning and public health interventions. It also provides a summary of the key findings, including a discussion of the implications for enhancing urban health intelligence and urban policy formulation in Malawi and other rapidly urbanizing countries. This paper is intended to show researchers how existing information in low-resource settings can be used to generate needed health data for urban populations, with a particular interest in secondary centres.

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