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.

    Bärenbold O et al. Estimating true prevalence of Schistosoma mansoni from population summary measures based on the Kato-Katz diagnostic technique. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2021;15(4):e0009310. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0009310

    Beckmann J et al. Prevalence of stunting and relationship between stunting and associated risk factors with academic achievement and cognitive function: a cross-sectional study with South African primary school children. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18:4218. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18084218

    Brattig N.W, Tanner M, Bergquist R, Utzinger J. Impact of environmental changes on infectious diseases: key findings from an international conference in Trieste, Italy in May 2017. Acta Trop. 2021;213:105165. DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2019.105165

    Brummaier T et al. Improved detection of intestinal helminth infections with a formalin ethyl-acetate-based concentration technique compared to a crude formalin concentration technique. Trop Med Infect Dis. 2021;6(2):51. DOI: 10.3390/tropicalmed6020051

    Brummaier T et al. Burden of soil-transmitted helminth infection in pregnant refugees and migrants on the Thailand-Myanmar border: results from a retrospective cohort. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2021;15(3):e0009219. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0009219