El papel del epidemiólogo en la planificación del desarrollo económico
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Economic development is commonly defined as a process of growth plus structural change. Planning is needed to mobilize the factors of production efficiently to reach development targets with minimum delay and minimum risk of avoidable error. While development planning relies heavily on statistics, descriptive data are often inadequate. The problem is one of measuring all the "linkages" that relate one activity to another, including those that relate health as investment and health as consumption to the process of development. The epidemiologist can make an important contribution by ascertaining what endemic diseases jeopardize the success of development needed for comparison with maps showing the geographic distribution of development activity. Sometimes the needed information is collected during the formulation of national health plans, but health service programming areas and economic development areas do not necessarily coincide. In the absence of satisfactory statistics of morbidity and mortality, the fact-finding role of epidemiology is particularly important. Reliance can be placed on small samples if they are representative and capable of reasonable extrapolation. An example is given of contradictory evidence of the relative importance of different diseases, as shown by data from a variety of sources in a single country. It is suggested that the main burden of improving the situation
The role of the epidemiologist in economic development planning
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