South Africa Plans Health Study to Track Half a Million People

Friday, October 7, 2016

South Africa’s government has announced that it will expand the country’s existing demographic studies to create a project that will be the largest of its kind in Africa — tracking the health, income, and educational attainment of around 1% of South Africa’s population.

The Department of Science and Technology estimates that it will put 264 million rand (US$19 million) into the demographic project over the next five years, which will eventually cover at least half a million people. It has secured the funding for its first three years; the rest will need to be allocated in future government budgets.

If the study can be sustained in the long term, researchers hope that the data will help them to track efforts to curb major health problems such as HIV and tuberculosis, and to monitor emerging lifestyle-related threats such as cancer and diabetes. The department intends for the survey to run for decades, following people from the cradle to the grave and monitoring inter-generational trends.

Source: Nature Research (link opens in a new window)

Health Care