Data collection and recording

Gathering and recording data about diseases in your community is a very important activity. As part of your routine practice, you are expected to collect health data from patients when they come to your Health Post. You are also expected to collect data during home visits about illnesses and deaths due to major communicable diseases, as well as about other health-related factors such as nutrition, immunization coverage and use of family planning methods. During data collection, you should record basic information about patients, such as their age, sex, address, symptoms of the illness and suspected disease or disorder (for example, injuries, spontaneous abortions, etc.)

Never collect data that you cannot or will not use, because it is a waste of your time, energy and resources.

Table 40.1 shows an example of data on cases of disease/disorders recorded at Zemen Health Post. Remember, you should only collect data that you can use to improve health programmes in your area.

Table 40.1 Diseases and other health problems recorded at Zemen Health Post during three days in 1996 (Ethiopian calendar).

Serial no.Date seenNameKebeleSexAge (months/years)Signs and symptomsSuspected disease/disorder
01 6/5/96 A.M. C M 6 mths Cough, fever, difficulty in breathing Pneumonia
02 6/5/96 T.F. A M 2 yrs Fever, cough, rashes Measles
03 6/5/96 N.N. C M 22 yrs Laceration (cuts) on right arm Injury
04 6/5/96 Y.E. C F 28 yrs Pregnancy, fever, anaemia Malaria
05 7/5/96 I.L. B F 7 mths Fever, bulging fontanel Meningitis
06 7/5/96 R.E. B F 8 mths Fever, cough, difficulty in breathing Pneumonia
07 7/5/96 K.L. D F 4 yrs Fever, vomiting, diarrhoea Malaria
08 7/5/96 T.I. A M 13 yrs Fever, headache, bodily pains Malaria
09 7/5/96 A.F. D F 10 yrs Fever, severe muscle pains with paralysis of the lower limbs Poliomyelitis
10 7/5/96 D.O. D F 24 yrs Fever, headache, neck stiffness Meningitis
11 8/5/96 K.M. A M 22 yrs Watery diarrhoea Diarrhoea
12 8/5/96 U.G A F 20 mths Fracture, left upper arm Injury
13 8/5/96 P.F. C M 23 mths Cough, fever, rashes Measles
14 8/5/96 H.I. C F 24 yrs Vaginal bleeding at four weeks pregnant Spontaneous abortion
15 8/5/96 G.T. C F 21 yrs Fever, shock Malaria
16 8/5/96 W.T. A F 16 yrs Five weeks of cough, fever, weight loss Tuberculosis
17 8/5/96 R.Y. B M 26 mths Diarrhoea, vomiting, dehydration Diarrhoea
18 8/5/96 A.C. C M 1 yr Fever, cough, difficulty in breathing Pneumonia
Last modified: Wednesday, 25 June 2014, 8:36 AM