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.

    Brummaier T et al. A prospective cohort for the investigation of alteration in temporal transcriptional and microbiome trajectories preceding preterm birth: a study protocol. BMJ Open. 2019;9(1):e023417. DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023417

    Hürlimann E et al. Antagonistic effects of Plasmodium-helminth co-infections on malaria pathology in different population groups in Côte d'Ivoire. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2019;13(1):e0007086. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0007086

    Müller I et al. Effect of a multidimensional physical activity intervention on body mass index, skinfolds and fitness in South African children: results from a cluster-randomised controlled trial. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;16(2):232. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph16020232

    Pi-Bansa S et al. Potential factors influencing lymphatic filariasis transmission in “hotspot” and “control” areas in Ghana: the importance of vectors. Infect Dis Poverty. 2019;8(1):9. DOI: 10.1186/s40249-019-0520-1

    Pradyumna A, Egal F, Utzinger J. Sustainable food systems, health and infectious diseases: concerns and opportunities. Acta Trop. 2019;191:172-177. DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2018.12.042