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.

    Arnaiz P et al. Sustainability of a school-based health intervention for prevention of non-communicable diseases in marginalised communities: protocol for a mixed-methods cohort study. BMJ Open. 2021;11(10):e047296. DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-047296

    Assaré R.K et al. Accuracy of two circulating antigen tests for the diagnosis and surveillance of Schistosoma mansoni infection in low-endemicity settings of Côte d'Ivoire. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2021(in press)

    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, Graf A, Konou A, Casagrande G, Utzinger J, Meier L. More than seven decades of Acta Tropica: looking back to move into the future. Acta Trop. 2021(in press). DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2021.106155