In describing the health status of any population, useful data (in terms of health-related issues) from members of the community are crucial to determining the disease agent, mode of transmission, key symptoms/syndrome, type of disease, control and the establishment and evaluation of interventional measures. Epidemiologist work with data and, epidemiological studies are exclusively based on a controlled collection of observations (data) related to the pathological (disease) state of members of a given community. These data when collected are subjected to various examinations that will lead to the development of key points that will be used for testing statistically the hypothesis on ground as it relates to the disease being studied. Such data are not necessarily sourced from a laboratory analysis or from on-spot investigation of the samples from the community, but instead data for epidemiological studies are obtained from some data collection units of the community/population and; they are as follows:
- Health statistics from national or state ministry of health
- Birth registers
- Epidemic investigation data/results
- Population census
- Death registers
- Blood banks
- Laboratory registers
- Routine health information surveillance (HIS) records
- Surveys from population sampling
- Immunization program registers
- Surveillance and disease monitoring systems
- Investigations of epidemics
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