The report carries key messages from the outgoing and current chairpersons of the INDEPTH Board of Trustees, the Executive Director, as well as the newly elected chairperson of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC). A common trend in all these messages is the urgent need for the Network to firmly entrench its position in the global health community as a rich source of reliable, credible, quality data released in a timely manner with a view to significantly impact health policy in low and-middle income countries.
The 2011 Annual Report features the extensive scientific work carried out by INDEPTH Working Groups in areas such as:
Adult Health and Ageing in which significant progress was made towards enriching the INDEPTH-SAGE dataset with additional variables including education, migration, household composition and mortality; Migration and Urbanisation which successfully launched the 2nd phase of work under the theme: “Multi-centre Analysis of Dynamics in Migration and Health (MADIMAH); Demographic and Health Transition under which there was considerable progress in the submission of requisite data on fertility, mortality and migration, as well as causes of death and Health Systems Research (HSR) which saw the submission of a proposal for a study to utilise the INDEPTH HDSS platform to monitor need, utilization and access to care under the universal coverage.
The report further catalogues work conducted under the Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) project in which five INDEPTH member centres: Kisumu and Nairobi HDSS (Kenya), Magu HDSS (Tanzania), Navrongo HDSS (Ghana) and Rakai HDSS (Uganda) utilized existing and additional data to examine the impact of family planning and reproductive health interventions.
Another key feature of the report is the critical research undertaken in the area of Vaccination and Child Survival to monitor and assess the impact of vaccinations and other childhood interventions for both boys and girls. A portion of the report is also devoted to the landmark work undertaken by the team working on the INDEPTH Effectiveness and Safety Studies of Antimalarials in Africa (INESS).
Other thematic areas and activities covered by the report include the collaborative work with UNESCO under Climate Change, Migration and Mortality (CLIMIMO) resulting in the production of a highly informative CLIMIMO factsheet and in the area of Cause of Death Determination (CODD) and Analysis which was advanced through a collaboration between INDEPTH and ALPHA Network.
In the report, the activities of Interest Groups are also captured in areas such as Mental Health and Neurology/Epilepsy; Indoor Air Pollution (IAP) which received a small grant from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute to develop a proposal: ‘Indoor Air Pollution Intervention Studies (IAPIS)’ and the INDEPTH-ACAP Collaboration which made much progress towards a joint project to eventually relocate archived census data in an African institution.
Also featuring prominently in the report are activities under Antibiotic Resistance and Newborns, Health and Epidemiology, the latter now being a key consideration in the context of the MDGs.
Furthermore, the report extensively recounts the success of the 11th INDEPTH Scientific Conference (ISC) held in Maputo, Mozambique, 24 – 27 October.
At the level of the secretariat, the report gives an account of major accomplishments in the area of the INDEPTH Shared Access Repository – iSHARE, with four additional member centres being admitted onto the platform and the development of the Centre-in-a-Box (CiB) prototype.
Other reported activities are the Network’s very positive position on Data Sharing, and in particular the finalisation of a comprehensive INDEPTH Data Access and Sharing Policy which will enable the Network to responsibly, efficiently and widely share public health research data within and beyond the Network in a sustainable manner.
The secretariat’s Results Based Management strategy is also featured in the report together with a description of the various types of support provided to member centres through the different sections of the secretariat.
Finally, in the true spirit of transparency, openness and accountability, the report documents all the sub-grants that have been made to member centres and ends with the PWC-audited statement of the Network’s financial performance/position for the year ended 31st December 2010.
All in all, the report makes interesting reading with captivating pictures portraying workshop participants, visitors to the Secretariat and the Maputo ISC.
Communications and External Relations Manager