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Influence Of Health And Vital Statistics In Control Of Epidemic

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the study

Epidemic (outbreak of disease) is the occurrence of cases of disease in excess of what would normally be expected in a defined community, geographical area or season. An outbreak may occur in a restricted geographical area or may extend over several countries.

Vital statistics are perhaps the most widely used national, state and local data for identifying and addressing major public health issues.

In the United States, legal authority for the registration of vital events (births, deaths, marriages, divorces, foetal deaths and induced termination of pregnancy). The existence of national data system of registration based vital statistics depends on a co-operative relationship between the States and the Federal Government.

Health services are mainly concerned with the well-being of general masses, the availability of the statistics related to health scheme is essential for planning and monitoring of impact of various services designed for improvement in the health status, considering this need the responsibility of collection and compilation of civil registration data was first entrusted to a separate bureau of vital statistics in the year 1964.

In controlling the prevalence of diseases, health and vital statistics is an invaluable tool in the control of epidemics. Health planning and distribution of available resources among the three tiers of government on health programme.  The health records personnel will collect, organize, summarize, present, analyse and make the reasonable conclusion.  This statistics can be useful to the Ministry of Health in the control of epidemics.

Health and vital statistics provides data which are useful for several purposes e.g research, planning, monitoring and evaluation e.t.c

The information generated from health and vital statistics are also essential for demography and disease surveillance. Since it has been agreed that information is powerful, Federal government rely on information on health in decision making for both immediate and future utilization.

In ancient times, epidemics and plagues were terrifying natural phenomena that cried out for a more rational explanation than “that they were due to the weather of god or the machinatiin of evil spirit. Hippocrates (460-377B.C.E) describe many kind of diseases. Although doctors and others engaged in healing act did not clearly understand the concept of contagion until several hundred years later. Francastorius (1478-1553) identified several ways that infection can be transmitted which include by direct contact, by contaminated clothing, through droplet spread e.t.c

The history of Health and Vital Statistics could be traced back to the period of king Edward vii who reigned in Wales and England. He initiated the registration of births, deaths, marriages e.t.c. He wanted to know the number of Male citizens that are capable of going to war at any given period or any male citizen that could be conscripted into army.

He gave the decree that all vital events conducted in churches should be recorded and the returns should be sent to government. The responsibility took off and a registry was created to take charge of this responsibility.

The registry commenced in 1837 with the appointment of Dr Willam Farr (1807 -1883) a medical statistician as the first registrar general in charge of the registry, the  created regional centre for data collection on vital events with his office in the  headquarters. This continues until other nations all over the world borrowed the idea from England.

In 1990, Nigerians made provision for the registration and collection of data on births, population of towns, infants, mortality and deaths. This made calculation of such events easy, Later, the registration of vital event became compulsory in Aba, Port Harcourt and Calabar but the comment on annual medical report was less of little statistical importance.

It was a strong assumption that the European health practitioners in Nigeria introduced it and then Dr. D.W Horn was appointed as the Dean of health Statistician in the Federal Ministry of health, Lagos in (1952-1957) since then, there have been successors of health statistics whom are Dr. Itom, Dr. S. L. Adesoji.  The registration and collection of vital statistics events then became compulsory in Lagos and to some other Towns in Nigeria.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

There had been various attempt made by government in controlling epidemics ( outbreak of disease) in towns, States and Countries generally and there had been in time past lapses which had made the outcome of treatment and documentation of vital statistics encumbered despite the intervention of health professionals and improvement in techniques to curb disease prevalence.

Some of the lapses and problems include the following:

Lack of proper health record documentation.

Lack of qualified personnel to collect accurate data.

Underreporting of births and deaths including still births

No uniformity in standard of treatment of health problems among health professionals.

1.3 Objective of the Study

The general objectives of this study is to assess the influence of health and vital statistics in the control of epidemic in University of Benin Teaching Hospital.

The specific objectives includes:

To Determine if  Health Information Managers in University of Benin Teaching Hospital have a good knowledge on  Health and Vital statistics in the  control of epidemic

To Determine if Health and Vital statistics is been collected following the required procedure and using the correct tools in University of Benin Teaching Hospital

To Assess the  effectiveness of health and vital statistics in the control of epidemic in UBTH

To Examine the challenges associated with the collection of health and vital statistics in the study area.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions were drawn to direct the study viz:

Do Health Information Managers in UBTH have good knowledge on Health and Vital statistics in the control of epidemic?

Is health and vital statistics been collected following the required procedure and using the correct tools in University of Benin Teaching Hospital?

How effective is health and vital statistics in the control of epidemic in university of Benin teaching hospital?

What are the challenges  associated with the collection of health and vital statistics in the control of epidemic?

1.5 Scope of the Study

This research work will concentrate mainly on University of Benin Teaching Hospital Edo state in order to assess the influence of health and vital statistics in the control of epidemics.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The importance of the study cannot be over emphasized, the study will serve the purpose of identifying the influence of health and vital statistics in the control of epidemic. The influence include:

It will help to determine and assess the subject of objective of epidemic control

It will help to assess the mortality and morbidity level of the population

Health and Vital statistics will help in contributing to effectiveness of epidemics control by ensuring that the available of resources and facility are used appropriately.

It will help in the monitoring and evaluation of health resources utilization during epidemics control.

1.7 Operational Definition of Terms

INFLUENCE: The capacity to have an effect on the character, development or behavior of someone or something or the effect itself.

HEALTH: This is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing of an individual and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

VITAL: Extremely important and necessary for something to succeed or exist.

VITAL STATISTICS: These are Statistics from vital events which are recorded on an  individual

HEALTH STATISTICS: This is the numerical information of all aspect of health of a population including morbidity and mortality statistics and all other pertinent information which are related to health and health services.

CONTROL: To limit the amount or growth of something especially something that is dangerous.

EPIDEMIC: A large number of cases of disease that happen at the same time.

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