Epidemiology

Epidemiology

The main focus areas of the Epidemiology and Surveillance section are surveillance, research and teaching of occupational epidemiology and consultation. Collaboration with other sections and institutions was encouraged to support strategic development and research into nationally important needs, such as women and reproductive health.

Core Functions

The Epidemiology and Surveillance section of the NIOH is involved in:

  • Conducting independent and commissioned research.
  • Research projects, including policy development projects.
  • Monitoring trends in occupational health.
  • Identification and quantification of occupational health problems.
  • Collaborative field surveys.
  • Teaching of Occupational Epidemiology.
  • Consulting on research in disease and hazards in the workplace.
  • Advisory services to support occupational health practice.
  • Research in occupational health indicators.
  • Using open software in database development and descriptive analysis of data.
  • Dissemination of research findings and other occupational health information.
Past and Current Research Areas
  • Development of occupational health indicators for South Africa.
  • Publication of occupational health indicators reports.
  • Identification of Research Questions in Occupational Health in South Africa.
  • Research into reproductive health effects of occupational exposures using time-to-pregnancy tool (the first African studies to do so).
  • Study on long-term asbestos exposure and disease in Prieska.
  • Quantification and determination of prevalence of TB in healthcare workers.
  • Fatalities in the construction industry.
  • Health hazard evaluations in various industries.
  • Occurrence and causes of occupational respiratory diseases.
  • Occupational health among women workers.
  • Development of method of attribution of lung cancer to asbestos exposure in autopsied miners, using pathologic and microscopic evidence, for compensation purposes.
  • Occupational health service provision in industry.
Collaborative Projects:

Global elimination of silicosis programme – Identification of main silica exposed industries and occupations in SA.
Workplace programmes supporting healthcare workers affected and infected by HIV/AIDS.
Determination of reference values of trace elements in a Witwatersrand (Gauteng, SA) workforce.