Good health is essential for the happiness of mankind. It contributes positively to the happiness and prosperity of humans. Even economic progress is highly dependent on the health of individuals as healthy population is more productive and contributes to the overall economic progress of a country. In this article, our main goal is to discuss with you some of the important health indicators. So, let’s get started.
Health Indicators – An introduction:
Health indicators are a quantifiable feature of a population which is used by researchers as a supporting proof for defining the health of a population. Usually, researchers use a survey method to collect information about a group of people, use statistical tools to generalize the information gathered to the entire population and then they create a statement about the health of population by using the statistical analysis. Appropriate training on public health is important to formulate a good policy for the population. Health indicators are mostly used by governments before formulating health care policies.
Following are some of the characteristics that must be present in health indicators:
- The indicator must be defined in a way that it can be measured accurately at international level.
- There must be statistical validity in the indicator
- The data must be feasibly collected for that indicator
- The analysis of that data must give some results at the end that recommends steps to improve health conditions.
- Life Expectancy
- Crude Death Rate
- Infant Mortality Rate
- Maternal Mortality Rate
Life expectancy is a vital indicator of health status. It is one of the many important health indicators which is used collectively by researchers to describe the health of the country’s population. It is based on the average number of years expected by a person at a certain age to live given the current mortality rates. It can also be measured at the time of birth (age 0) also known as life expectancy at birth LEB, which is typically used for national and international comparison.
Crude Death Rate:
Death rate is a measure of the number of deaths in general or due to a specific cause in a specific population, which is scaled to the size of that population, per unit of time.it is usually expressed in units of deaths per 1000 individuals annually.
Crude death rate is a vital measure of mortality rate. It looks at mortality from all causes and reasons in a specific interval of time for a given population.
Infant Mortality Rate:
Infant mortality rate is the death of young infants and children which are aged from 0 to 12 months. IMR measures this death roll. It is the probability of deaths of infants under one year of age divided by 1000 live births. In 2013, the major cause of infant mortality in the US was birth defects. Other most common leading reasons of infant mortality mainly are pneumonia, birth asphyxia, congenital malformations, term birth complications like abnormal presentation of the fetus or prolonged labor, neonatal infection, malnutrition etc. Smoking is also one of the most popular reasons of infant mortality during reasons.
Maternal Mortality Rate:
Maternal death is described in various ways by different health organizations. WHO “The World Health Organization explains maternal death as the death of a pregnant woman facing complications in pregnancy or some underlying health condition that is worsened in pregnancy. Mismanagement of all such conditions during pregnancy becomes a cause of maternal death. The two main measures while evaluating the rates of maternal mortality are maternal mortality ratio and rate of maternal mortality in any country; both are abbreviated as MMR. In the year 2017, world’s maternal mortality rate has fallen to 44% since 1990.
Nutritional deficiencies and inappropriate habits like smoking and alcoholic consumption in a population can sometimes become vital health indicators in determining the overall health of population. They are mentioned below:
- Lower weight at birth times.
- Occurrence of anemia.
- Fraction of overweight individuals.
- Popularity of underweight among children under age 5.
- Dominance of stunting among children under age 5.
- Severe malnutrition among kids.
- Consumption of alcohol
- Physical exercise
- Low birth weight
- High rate of blood pressure
There are many organizations in the world which identifies, collects, measures, shares ,analyze and publish articles on the topic of health indicators. “Health metrics network and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation” are two examples of organizations working on health issues globally.
We can conclude by saying that health indicators are important in determining the overall health status of a certain population. Governments and organizations must effectively use these indicators to get a clear view about people’s health and plan strategies to improve a country’s overall health and reduce its death rate.