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---Profile: The Karonga Health and Demographic Surveillance System

Wednesday, 26th of September 2012 Print

Amelia C Crampin1,2,3,4,*, Albert Dube1, Sebastian Mboma1, Alison Price1,2,

Menard Chihana1,2, Andreas Jahn1,2,5, Angela Baschieri2,6, Anna Molesworth1,7,

Elnaeus Mwaiyeghele1, Keith Branson2, Sian Floyd2, Nuala McGrath1,8,

Paul E M Fine1, Neil French1,2,9, Judith R Glynn2,4 and Basia Zaba2,3,4

+ Author Affiliations

1Karonga Prevention Study, Chilumba, Malawi, 2London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK, 3INDEPTH network, Accra, Ghana, 4ALPHA network, London, UK, 5Central Monitoring and Evaluation Division / Department for HIV and AIDS, Ministry of Health, Lilongwe, Malawi, 6School of Social Science, University of Southampton, UK, 7National CJD Research and Surveillance Project, Edinburgh University, UK, 8Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies, University of KwaZulu Natal, Somkhele, South Africa and 9Institute of Infection and Global Health, Liverpool University, UK

*Corresponding author. Karonga Prevention Study, PO Box 46, Chilumba, Malawi. E-mail: mia.crampin@lshtm.ac.uk

Accepted May 9, 2012.

Int. J. Epidemiol. (2012) : dys088 doi: 10.1093/ije/dys088

Abstract below; full text is at


The Karonga Health and Demographic Surveillance System (Karonga HDSS) in northern Malawi currently has a population of more than 35 000 individuals under continuous demographic surveillance since completion of a baseline census (2002–2004). The surveillance system collects data on vital events and migration for individuals and for households. It also provides data on cause-specific mortality obtained by verbal autopsy for all age groups, and estimates rates of disease for specific presentations via linkage to clinical facility data. The Karonga HDSS provides a structure for surveys of socio-economic status, HIV sero-prevalence and incidence, sexual behaviour, fertility intentions and a sampling frame for other studies, as well as evaluating the impact of interventions, such as antiretroviral therapy and vaccination programmes. Uniquely, it relies on a network of village informants to report vital events and household moves, and furthermore is linked to an archive of biological samples and data from population surveys and other studies dating back three decades.