Spotlight Series: Health Equity Monitoring 

PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre Spotlight Series 

Reference Number: BRA-84

Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC for Health Equity Monitoring
Institution: International Center for Equity in Health, Federal University of Pelotas

Health System

Category 4 (SP 14-19)

Outcome 21 (SP 20-25)

Dr. Mujica

Dr. Oscar Mujica, Advisor, Social Epidemiology and Health Equity, is the PAHO staff member who acts as the Region’s focal point to coordinate the collaboration between the institution and the Organization.

The main activities for this Centre include: (1) providing PAHO/WHO with estimates of health inequality based on metrics/indicators from the demographic and health survey (DHS), multiple indicator cluster survey (MICS) and the reproductive health survey (RHS) and (2) providing expert opinion, data analysis, and guidance on several PAHO-led activities.

The Centre is the only institute to standardize variables between the DHS, MIS, RHS surveys and effectively measure inequality with standard metrics of inequality. The Centre produced three calculations: (1) absolute /relative gaps; (2) slope index of inequality; and (3) concentration index, to measure inequality in a set of 25+ indicators of reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child, and adolescent health across income quintiles, education levels, geographical areas and sex of the mother/child. PAHO/WHO then receives this data and utilizes it for health equity monitoring, especially for relevant health-related Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators. Currently, PAHO is seeking to create a regional counterpart of the WHO Health Equity Monitor to display a data dashboard using deliverables from the Centre.

The Centre is assisting PAHO with the Regional Report on the Health of People of African Descent, a deliverable requested by the Costa Rican government, by providing health inequality analysis outputs with ethnicity as an equity stratifier. In Haiti, the Centre has been instrumental in the development of the Countdown Country Case Study, a project exploring maternal and child health inequalities from 1990 to 2018. Together with the staff from the Centre, Dr. Mujica visited Haiti to supervise the development of the study and delivered institutional capacity building workshops.

Webnotes such as these serve to inform how Collaborating Centres are contributing to the Organization’s priorities and mandates.