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Health Situation Analysis

Core Health Data background information

2013-11-19 01:32:03

In 1997, PAHO's XL Directing Countil adopted Resolution CD40.R10 on the collection and use of core health data. This and other reference documents on the Core Data Initiative include:


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Other sources of data for health analysis

2013-11-14 18:53:26

A variety of data sources can be used to generate health analysis and evidence for public health purpose. Data sources vary from country to country, depending on the level of development of health services and other institutions and availability of human, economic and other resources. In general, data on the demographic characteristics of the population can be obtained from the census or the National Vital Statistics Institutes.

Regarding health data, usable sources of data potentially include the surveillance systems for mandatory diseases, hospital discharges, routine registry reports or special surveys. Despite the fact that most morbidity data available in the countries would not be representative of the whole population, this information has the potential to produce evidence for health policies. 


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Health Situation Analysis

2013-10-24 14:00:39

A major part of the Health Information and Analysis unit's work is the production of evidence to support institutional decisions on a wide scope of health issues, orient technical cooperation to countries, and document the health situation in the Region. The unit also provides cooperation to member states in strengthening their analytical capacity, by developing and providing methodological and technological instruments to support Health Situation Analysis.

For further information about PAHO's activities in health situation analysis, please contact

Generating evidence in health is a process that involves the collection of morbidity and mortality data, the analysis of those data, and the dissemination of the information generated through the analysis. This is a useful input for decision-making in health. In many cases, the evidence originates in the results of research based on different types of designs used in the health field, including population studies.

The Health Information and Analysis unit is in charge of the development and maintenance of information systems for mortality and core health data for countries of the Americas. The mortality database maintained by PAHO, known as the Regional Mortality Information System, is a major source of data for analysis of mortality situation and trends.

Data sources

Prevention and control of non-communicable diseases

Prevention and control of communicable diseases

External causes

PAHO's mortality database


Data | Analysis


Data | Analysis


Data | Analysis

Other sources of data


Additional documents:

Non Communicable Diseases in the Americas, Basic Indicators 2011 (PAHO)

For further information about PAHO's activities in health situation analysis, please contact

The need for training health personnel in epidemiology and health situation analysis is a constant in the Region of the Americas. To respond to this need, PAHO develops methods and guidelines for health situation analysis and offers training opportunities. Jointly with PAHO country Representations, the Health Information and Analysis Unit offers a workshop on basic epidemiology for personnel at the local level in Spanish, Portuguese, and French (MOPECE). An online certificate program in Spanish is also available through PAHO and the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.

:: Training modules and courses

MOPECE training modules

The MOPECE  training modules are a training instrument in basic epidemiology for local health professionals  to promote the use of epidemiology in the management of health service.

Virtual Public Health Campus

The Virtual Campus of Public Health is a network where people and institutions can share educational resources and services to improve public health skills and practice through the development and innovative use of information and communication technologies.


Epidat is a nonprofit project of the Xunta de Galicia and the Pan American Health Organizationto develop and disseminate of a freeware program for statistical and epidemiological data analysis.

World Bank Courses

Through the World Bank Institute, the World Bank grants access to the latest global knowledge, using innovative ways to solve development challenges. It offers courses in English related health services including the essential functions of public health.

North Carolina University

(The basic science of public health)

This course explores public health issues like cardiovascular and infectious diseases – both locally and globally –through the lens of epidemiology. Topic areas we will cover include the following: overview and history of epidemiology and public health and the population perspective, Measures of disease occurrence (incidence and prevalence), Study designs and measures of association, and Basic introduction to causal inference

University of Michigan

(Measuring health disparities)

Measuring health inequalities (Measuring Health Disparities) is an interactive course, which can be downloaded online for free, and allows basic training and an approach to measures of health inequalities.

Certificate program in Epidemiology in Spanish

(PAHO-Johns Hopkins University)


:: Books

- Indicadores básicos para la salud en brasil: conceptos y aplicaciones (only in Spanish and Portuguese)


For further information about PAHO's activities in health situation analysis, please contact

The 2014-2019 Strategic Plan approved by PAHO/WHO member states seeks to measure the impact of country's actions on health through evaluation of (1) Improvements in health and wellbeing, (2) Elimination or eradication of diseases, and (3) Decrease in morbidity, mortality and gaps in health.

In agreement with PAHO/WHO's Member States, 9 targets and 26 indicators were chosen that reflect the different strategic dimensions of PAHO's work and are organized along the three axes of the 2014-2019 strategic plan. 


Millenium Development Goals for health

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PAHO/WHO honors individuals and institutions for tobacco control contributions

2013-05-28 17:08:08

Health officials, researchers and a legislative body from Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Suriname will be honored by the Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO / WHO) for their contributions to advancing tobacco control on 31 May, World No Tobacco Day.

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Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization
525 Twenty-third Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037, United States of America
Tel.: +1 (202) 974-3000 Fax: +1 (202) 974-3663

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