22 August 2016
2016 South Africa Demographic and Health Survey Underway
Are you satisfied with the health services in South Africa?
CAPE TOWN | The South Africa Demographic and Health Survey (SADHS 2016) promises to provide the country with key health indicators as well as information about how well South African health services are meeting the needs of the population.
SADHS 2016, which is being conducted by the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), together with the National Department of Health (NDoH) and Statistics South Africa (STATS SA), will focus on maternal and child health care, reproductive health services as well as services for common chronic diseases.
The survey fieldwork commenced in June this year and is set to be completed in October 2016. It sees information being collected by means of face-to-face interviews with the adults who live in 15 000 households across the country. These households have been carefully selected to be nationally representative, based on a random sample of households in each province.
“We currently have 30 teams across the country and have completed one-third of the data collection,” says Professor Debbie Bradshaw, Unit Director at the SAMRC’s Burden of Disease Research Unit. She adds that South Africans have been very cooperative, but stresses that it is essential to ensure that users of both private health-care services as well as the public sector, participate in the survey to ensure that a complete picture of the country’s health care is be obtained.
“Our teams collecting data for national surveys do find it difficult to access middle-class households. Security measures, such as high walls and security dogs, make it difficult to access houses in the suburbs,” she says. “However, without data from individuals in this sector of the population, survey results end up being skewed, with the needs of this group of people un-reflected. Planning for the National Health Insurance makes it essential to get the full picture.”
Bradshaw urges the households that are selected for inclusion in the survey to accept the invitation to participate as planning for improved health services in the country depends on complete and reliable data from surveys such as SADHS 2016.
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