Fieldworkers to conduct health survey in households

SANews, 20 June 2016, First edition

Pretoria - Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) is urging the thousands of households which will be sampled in the South Africa Demographic and Health Survey 2016 (SADHS 2016) to welcome fieldworkers into their homes.

Stats SA, together with South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), is embarking on an extensive fact-finding mission on behalf of the National Department of Health.

The survey will see Stats SA fieldworkers visit 15 000 sampled dwelling units between June and November 2016 and ask a wide range of questions relating to health, fertility, nutrition and family planning, among others.

In a statement on Sunday, Stats SA said the results of the survey will be used to measure the health status of South Africans as well as the coverage and quality of selected health programmes.

"The data collected during the survey will help policymakers make necessary changes to health programmes and provide additional resources wherever deficiencies are identified within the health system, with the ultimate intention of improving the general health of South Africans," said Statistician General Pali Lehohla.

He added that sampled dwelling units should "play their part in building a South Africa we all can be proud of by participating in the survey".

It is critical that the SADHS 2016 receives a high response rate, as information emanating from it will be used to make key public health decisions and policies.

On completion, the survey will enable Stats SA to compile estimates on child and maternal mortality, fertility rates, and the prevalence of conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, among others.

A publicity team will visit sampled dwelling units and provide information about the survey and data collectors will later return to the households to administer the questionnaire.

The data collection team consisting of supervisors, interviewers and nurses will conduct interviews with household members.

In addition, all SADHS 2016 field staff will be identifiable by presenting an identity card containing their photograph, name and persal or ID number of the staff member. Field staff will also be wearing SADHS 2016 branded bibs.

In accordance with the Statistics Act, data collected will be treated as confidential.

The survey will enable the country to make national estimates on adult obesity and measure the coverage of child health immunisation, family planning programmes, and HIV/Aids awareness programmes.

"To improve the health system in the country accurate and timely information is needed, and South Africans can help make this possible by taking part in the SADHS," said the Statistician General. –