- Advise Member Status on developing their health situation analysis for purposes of policy formulation and decision-making.
- Improve data and statistical information systems that gather, verify/validate, analyze, and dissemínate morbidity and mortality information, as well as other relevant indicators of health and development, including the Millennium Development Objectives (MDGs).
- Strengthen the general epidemiological capacity of Member Status and PAHO Headquarters to generate, analyze, disemínate, and utilize strategic information to evaluate health situations and trends.
Areas of Work
- Strengthen the epidemiological capacity of Member Status and Headquarters to analyze, utilize, and disseminate information on the health situation and trends for planning, implementing, and evaluating public health policies and programs.
- Provide technical cooperation for the reorganization and effective functioning of epidemiological and statistical health information systems with the goal of improving the production and effective use of health information and vital statistics.
- Promote the establishment of integrated health information networks, including the development of basic health data systems and the coordination of information systems on health services in Member States, in programs and in PAHO/WHO field/country offices.
- Develop methodologies, norms/guidelines, training programs, and standards for gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data and information, including evaluating and monitoring inequities, health trends, and the impact of health-related interventions.
Information to Support Decision-Making in Public Health: This new system offers access to a variety of interactive "dashboards" offering health data to aid in the policy-making process. It is a tool to disseminate health information and promote new ways of presenting, visualizing, and communicating data. The dynamic, interrelated, interactive dashboards provide tables, maps, and charts showing data in various dimensions. They are intended as a complementary alternative to the information most commonly used in the form of statistical tables, maps, and charts. In addition to the usual types of data, the system also offers special data dashboards for dengue, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and TB. (system home page in Spanish, dashboards in English and/or Spanish)
Main Activities: The Regional Core Health Data Initiative for the collection, updating, and use of core health data has the following objectives:
- evaluate the health status of the population and health trends,
- provide empirical basis for identifying the population groups with greater health needs,
- stratify epidemiological risk,
- determine critical areas, and
- examine the response of the health services to provide input for policy-making and setting priorities in this field.
Components and Main Products
- PAHO Basic Indicator Database
- Health Statistics in the Americas
- Quinquennial production of Health in the Americas (current version will be available in September 2007 | 2002 version: print | CD)
- Plan for the Strengthening of Vital and Health Statistics in the Americas (Interagency program led by PAHO to improve the quality of statistics in the Region)
- Production of the PAHO Epidemiological Bulletin (quarterly publication on such epidemiological issues as analysis, information, and methods): About | Index
- Application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) (HA has developed SIGEpi, a software program and tool for epidemiological analysis) | Description
- Mortality and Population Information System (MAPIS) (database with mortality information on all the countries of the Americas, under development)
- USAID-PAHO Measure Project (lessons learned from evaluating health information systems in Brazil and Mexico, and implementing the performance monitoring process for health information systems in Honduras, Paraguay, and other countries of the Region)
- Family of International Classifications which includes the International Classification of Diseases: latest update
- Modular Training on Principles of Epidemiology for the Control of Communicable Diseases
- Country, subregional and regional analyses for policy and program development
- Information to Support Public Health Decision-Making