The Agincourt HDSS site, measuring some 420 sq km,scovers some 120,000 people living in 21,000 households and 31 villages, lies in South Africa’s semi-arid rural north-east. Part of the Bushbuckridge ‘poverty node’ it has long been a labour sending area with limited employment opportunities despite a population density above 200 people per sq km. Located only 40km west of the Mozambican border, the area can be regarded as a cross-border region of rural southern Africa – indeed former Mozambicans make up about a third of the Agincourt population.
The Agincourt Health and Socio-Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS) is the research foundation of the MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt). Work of the Unit serves to strengthen and extend a high-functioning health and socio-demographic surveillance system – including annual census, vital events and socio-economic updates. This serves as the scientific foundation for a programme of advanced research and intervention studies.
To make an exceptional scientific contribution to vulnerable communities that
- addresses critical health and development challenges
- enhances the quality of life and productivity of individuals and families
- informs public policy, programmes and practice
- To enhance capacity of the Agincourt research platform, including the Health and Socio-demographic Surveillance System (HDSS) and data management system, through:
- Applying strengthened measurement techniques to: cause-of-death estimation by validated verbal autopsy, full ‘reconciliation’ of in- and out-migration events, and recording of extra- household person-to-person social connections
- Instituting a standardized approach to each project, thus facilitating data management and linking of project datasets to the HDSS
- Establishing effective, individual-level links between population records and health facility registries in the sub-district (‘clinic-HDSS link’)
- Implementing effective policies and methods for requesting/releasing data to students, collaborators and other scientists, including accessible web-based mechanisms.
- To support an interdisciplinary research and intervention programme which will:
- Analyse trends describing health, population and social transitions; support simulation of populations affected by sexually transmitted infections to predict the effects of interventions; and interpret divergences from contemporary transition theories
- Develop and test interventions targeting critical problems affecting the health and wellbeing of children and adults, under the research themes Adolescent health and development; Adult health and wellbeing.
- Evaluate personal effects and population impacts of decentralised delivery of highly active anti- retroviral therapy (HAART)
- Investigate household responses to shocks and stresses
- Inform effective responses by the health sector and related development sectors such as education.
Research at the site encompasses five themes
- Research and evaluation
- Adolescent health and development
- Adult health and wellbeing
- Health and social systems
- Social and environmental determinants of health
|Indicator||2007/08/01 to 2008/08/01||2008/08/01 to 2009/08/01||2009/08/01 to 2010/08/02|
|Male Population PY||38989||41296||41641|
|Female Population Py||42377||44864||45399|
|Total Population PY||81367||86160||87040|
|Crude Birth Rate||26.60||26.09||22.02|
|Crude Death Rate||12.46||11.21||9.69|
|Crude Rate of Natural Increase||14.13||14.88||12.34|
|Total Fertility Rate||2.87||2.79||2.36|
|Infant Mortality Rate 1q0||54.05||39.66||35.019|
|Child Mortality Rate 4q1||26.74||25.22||15.332|
|Under Five Mortality Rate 5q0||79.34||63.9||49.81|
|Life Expectancy at Birth years||53.96||56.57||60.17|