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

Brown, Donald; (2020) The strengths and limitations of using hospital records to assess environmental health in Karonga, Malawi. Environment and Urbanization , 32 (1) 233 -256. 10.1177/0956247819860068. Green open access

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Abstract

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.

Type: Article
Title: The strengths and limitations of using hospital records to assess environmental health in Karonga, Malawi
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0956247819860068
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/0956247819860068
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Disaggregated data, hospital records, Karonga, Malawi, public health, secondary centres, sub-Saharan Africa, urban health, urban planning
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Development Planning Unit
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10090794
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