Group | Health Impact Assessment

Artisanal small-scale gold mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Impact assessment is the process of identifying the future consequences of a proposed action or global development. Through the combination of procedures, tools and methods, impact assessment supports evidence-based decision-making with the ultimate objective to promote sustainable development.

Health Impacts Associated with Global Change

The health impact assessment (HIA) research group aims to develop, validate and apply new tools and methods for assessing, monitoring and evaluating health impacts associated with major drivers of global change. This includes growing pressure on natural resources, population growth, migration, urbanization and global climate change.

Extensive Activities

With a geographical emphasis on tropical climate zones, we have employed the HIA approach to a variety of proposed activities and global developments:

  • large infrastructure developments, including natural resources extraction projects (e.g. gold and copper mining) and renewable energy projects (e.g. hydropower and biofuel);    
  • pesticide use in small scale farming;    
  • waste recovery and reuse business models; and    
  • combined effects of climate change and urbanization.

Integral Approaches

Many of our projects are an integral part of inter- and trans-disciplinary research efforts that combine environmental monitoring, epidemiology, clinical examinations and exposure assessment with institutional analysis and broad stakeholder engagement. We also build up human capacities in conducting, evaluating and enforcing HIA in low- and middle-income countries.

Mirko Winkler

Mirko Winkler

Associate Professor, PhD, DTM&H, MSc

Brummaier T et al. Design of a targeted blood transcriptional panel for monitoring immunological changes accompanying pregnancy. Frontiers in Immunology. 2024;15:1319949. DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2024.1319949

Cambaco O et al. Adolescent health and well-being in the context of impact assessment of natural resource extraction projects: a scoping review. Environ Impact Assess Rev. 2024;105:107360. DOI: 10.1016/j.eiar.2023.107360

Ekou F.K et al. Randomised controlled trial on the effect of social support on disease control, mental health and health-related quality of life in people with diabetes from Côte d'Ivoire: the SoDDiCo study protocol. BMJ Open. 2024;14(1):e069934. DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-069934

Gordon C.A et al. Strongyloidiasis. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2024;10:6. DOI: 10.1038/s41572-023-00490-x

Long K.Z et al. Randomized trial to improve children's body composition and micronutrient status among South African Children. Am J Prev Med. 2024(in press). DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2024.01.017