Group | Health Impact Assessment

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.

    Jäger F.N, Bechir M, Harouna M, Moto D.D, Utzinger J. Challenges and opportunities for healthcare workers in a rural district of Chad. BMC Health Serv Res. 2018;18:7. DOI: 10.1186/s12913-017-2799-6

    Esse C et al. "Koko et les lunettes magiques": an educational entertainment tool to prevent parasitic worms and diarrheal diseases in Côte d'Ivoire. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017;11(9):e0005839. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0005839

    Coulibaly J.T et al. Schistosoma haematobium egg excretion does not increase after exercise: implications for diagnostic testing. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2017(in press). DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.17-0728

    Said K et al. Schistosoma, other helminth infections, and associated risk factors in preschool-aged children in urban Tanzania. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017;11(11):e0006017. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0006017

    Lo N.C et al. A call to strengthen the global strategy against schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis: the time is now. Lancet Infect Dis. 2017;17(2):e64-e69. DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(16)30535-7