Development of a national Health and Environment Geographic Information System (HEGIS) for countries in central and eastern Europe : report on a WHO consultation, Bilthoven, Netherlands 13-15 December 1994
AbstractThe participants attending the Consultation on the Development of a National Health and Environment Geographic Information System (HEGIS) for countries of central and Eastern Europe agreed that health and environment information systems, on both national and international levels, are useful tools for systemic collection, analysis and interpretation of health and environmental data. However their objectives differ depending on the level of data aggregation involved. (a) At a European scale, HEGIS is a tool for health risk assessment and management of the main known environmental hazards. Assessments of the impact of environmental pollution on human health can be made by extrapolating the results of epidemiological studies (where there are consistent), taking into account the uncertainties in the data, and using the estimated population exposure to levels above the European guideline values. (b) At national and subnational level, the aim of HEGIS is to describe country-specific environmental health profiles and to forecast trends as a basis for developing national priorities, carrying out environment health impact analysis, and evaluating the cost-effectiveness of interventions. (c) At the local ("small area statistics") level HEGIS can also help to identify associations between adverse health effects and environmental and other (confounding) factors, based on epidemiological investigations of exposure-response or exposure-effect relationships, or on environmental impact assessments. Two categories of indicators can be defined for use in HEGIS : Environment-Related Health Indicators (ERHIs) relate to health outcomes which may suggest an environmental cause, or a contribution from environmental factors; Health-Related Environment Indicators (ERHIs) describe definable environmental conditions or trends which suggest potential harmful health effects. The participants agreed in principle on a core set of ERHIs, suitable for international comparison. These comprise : the actual number of residents, number of births including children with low and very low birth weight, number of births including cause-specific and infant mortality, perinatal mortality, morbidity according to some notifiable diseases. Participants exchanged experience of national HEGIS development, as well as information on case studies, and discussed the feasibility of data collection and dissemination of the information using the DISCET software. The urgent need for the development of a core set of HREIs, as well as methodologies for health risk assessment, at different level of data aggregation, was emphasized
World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe. (1996). Development of a national Health and Environment Geographic Information System (HEGIS) for countries in central and eastern Europe : report on a WHO consultation, Bilthoven, Netherlands 13-15 December 1994. Copenhagen : WHO Regional Office for Europe. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/107639
Gov't Doc #EUR/ICP/CEH 257(A)
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Wloch, Krzysztof (1995)
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