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.

    Bogoch II, Utzinger J, Lo N.C, Andrews J.R. Antibacterial mass drug administration for child mortality reduction: opportunities, concerns, and possible next steps. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2019;13(5):e0007315. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0007315

    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

    Erismann S et al. Addressing fragility through community-based health programmes: insights from two qualitative case study evaluations in South Sudan and Haiti. Health Res Policy Syst. 2019;17:20. DOI: 10.1186/s12961-019-0420-7

    Eze I.C et al. Epidemiological links between malaria parasitaemia and hypertension: findings from a population-based survey in rural Côte d'Ivoire. J Hypertens. 2019;37(7):1384-1392. DOI: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000002071

    Feucherolles M, Poppert S, Utzinger J, Becker S.L. MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry as a diagnostic tool in human and veterinary helminthology: a systematic review. Parasit Vectors. 2019;12:245. DOI: 10.1186/s13071-019-3493-9