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.

    Angora E.K et al. High prevalence of Schistosoma haematobium x Schistosoma bovis hybrids in schoolchildren in Côte d'Ivoire. Parasitology. 2020;147(3):287-294. DOI: 10.1017/S0031182019001549

    Assaré R.K et al. Characteristics of persistent hotspots of Schistosoma mansoni in western Cote d'Ivoire. Parasit Vectors. 2020;13:337. DOI: 10.1186/s13071-020-04188-x

    Binder S et al. Lessons learned in conducting mass drug administration for schistosomiasis control and measuring coverage in an operational research setting. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020;103(Suppl 1):105-113. DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.19-0789

    Brattig N.W, Bergquist R, Qian M.B, Zhou X.N, Utzinger J. Helminthiases in the People's Republic of China: status and prospects. Acta Trop. 2020;212:105670. DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2020.105670

    Brummaier T, Kabeer B.S.A, Chaussabel D, Utzinger J, McGready R, Paris D.H. Blood gene transcript signature profiling in pregnancies resulting in preterm birth: a systematic review. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol X. 2020;8:100118. DOI: 10.1016/j.eurox.2020.100118