MARCH 1995 - VOLUME 49, NUMBER 1
Sam CLARK, University of Pennsylvania (U.S.A.), Elizabeth COLSON, University of California (U.S.A.), James LEE and Thayer SCUDDER, California Institute of Technology (U.S.A.) Ten thousand Tonga: A longitudinal anthropological study from Southern Zambia, 1956-1991 (p. 91-109)
The Gwembe Study was launched in 1956 to monitor the responses of 57,000 Tonga-speakers from the Middle Zambezi Valley to involuntary relocation. Since then, periodic censuses and frequent field visits have generated a wide variety of information. This article examines the demography of four Gwembe Tonga villages from 1956 to 1991, a period characterized first by relocation, then prosperity, and finally by economic hardship. White nuptiality does not respond significantly to socio-economic trends, marital fertility falls sharply during relocation, rebounds with the onset of prosperity, and decreases slowly during the most recent decade of economic hardship. Mortality of the very young and old is also sensitive to such changes. There is striking excess male mortality in all periods, especially among male infants and in particular male twins. The sex ratio at 'birth' is 92. This abnormal sex ratio at birth may be the result of conscious sex preference favouring females. (ZAMBIA, ETHNIC MINORITIES, FORCED MIGRATION, DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILES)
Clark and Jane Menken, Director of the Institute of Behavioral Science University of Colorado, plan a workshop in Africa with the INDEPTH (an International Network of field sites with continuous Demographic Evaluation of Populations and Their Health in developing countries) network of longitudinal studies on analysis of longitudinal health and demographic data.
INDEPTH - a new international network
An International Network of field sites with continuous Demographic
Evaluation of Populations and their Health in Developing Countries
At a meeting in Dar es Salaam, from 9 to 12 November 1998, members of
field sites based on demographic and health surveillance convened to
establish the INDEPTH network. Seventeen field sites, drawn from 13
countries in Africa and Asia, participated in this constituting meet-
ing. Over four days, the INDEPTH founding document was drafted, debated
and adopted by all member sites, a co-ordinating committee and chair
were unanimously elected, and seven initial workgroups were formed.
Their focus includes:
- data analysis and capacity strengthening;
- technical support to field sites;
- comparative assessments of mortality;
- reproductive health;
- malaria; and
- applications to policy and practice.
Each workgroup developed a programme of activities for the first year.
What characterises an INDEPTH field site?
* A geographically-defined population, under continuous demographic
monitoring, with timely production of data on all births, deaths and
* This monitoring system provides a platform for a wide range of health
system innovations as well as social, economic, behavioural and
health interventions and research studies.
Why a network now?
Leading up to the INDEPTH constituting meeting has been a rapidly grow-
ing interest in demographic surveillance, summarised by the following
* an increase in interest in information for decision making;
* an increased demand for evidence-based planning;
* an increased demand for reassessment of priorities;
* an increase in the number of demographic surveillance field sites;
* a decrease in the cost of demographic surveillance methods;
* an increased interest on the part of demographic surveillance field
sites to fully harness their individual and collective potential for
policy influence through networking.
Vision and Goals of the INDEPTH Network
The prime purpose of the network will be to substantially enhance the
capabilities of INDEPTH field sites through:
* technical strengthening;
* methodological development;
* widened applications to policy and practice;
* increased interaction between site leaders, researchers and managers.
Much of this can be effectively addressed through bringing these field
stations into ongoing and effective contact, so providing opportunities
* Continually improve the methods and technologies used in resource-
* Cultivate cross-national activity and broaden the scope of research;
* Build capacity at individual and institutional levels;
* Strengthen the interface of research with policy and practice;
* Improve the validity and generalizability of findings.
Why focus on these field sites ?
For one billion people living in the world's poorest countries, where
the burden of disease is highest, there remains a void in vital health
information. This constitutes a major and long-standing constraint to
the articulation of effective policies and programs aimed at improving
the health of the poor. The imperative for a reliable information base
to support health development has never been greater. A critical con-
tribution to this is the experience of a limited, but increasing, num-
ber of field stations which have, as their foundation, continuous moni-
toring of geographically defined populations that can generate high
quality, population-based, health and demographic data on a longitudi-
nal basis. These data are able to inform priority setting, policy deci-
sions and the allocation of resources. They also lead to a highly-
focused intervention-oriented, research agenda, including a range of
health, social, economic and behavioral studies.
Sites Represented at the INDEPTH Constituting Conference:
Adult Morbidity and Mortality Project (AMMP), Tanzania
Agincourt, South Africa
CSSH, Viet Nam
Digkale, South Africa
Hlabissa, South Africa
Kilombero Insecticide Treated Nets Project (KINET), Tanzania
Matlab, ICDDR,B, Bangladesh
Navrongo Health Research Centre, Ghana
Prapass, Burkina Faso
Tanzania Essential Health Interventions Program (TEHIP), Tanzania
For more information
2nd Announcement for the Second INDEPTH-NETWORK Scientific Conference
21st to 25th January, 2002
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Call for Abstracts
Organized by the International Network of field sites with continuous
Demographic Evaluation of Populations and Their Health in developing
INDEPTH was founded on November 10, 1998 with the purpose of linking
and enhancing the capabilities of existing demographic surveillance
sites worldwide to enable these to continuously monitor the health
and demographic status of their geographically defined populations. A
demographic surveillance system (DSS) provides a platform on which to
base a range of health, social, economic and behavioral studies
Absence of reliable population-based information constitutes a major
and long-standing constraint to the articulation of effective poli-
cies and programs aimed at improving the health of the poor, and as
such perpetuates profound inequities in the health. Currently avail-
able sources of population and health data are plagued by lack of co-
ordination and communication, inadequate standardization of methods,
poor quality, bias in terms of coverage and missing links with policy
Currently there is a rapidly growing interest in demographic surveil-
lance because of the increased demand for information as a basis for
priority setting, evidence-based planning and overall decision-
making. In addition, the critical and strong contribution of longitu-
dinal data from demographic surveillance sites to Science has been
The demographic surveillance sites that form the INDEPTH network have
a proven track-record in providing high quality population-based in-
formation, often operating in highly resource-constrained environ-
ments. Data generated through these sites are crucial in informing
policy decisions, especially in the areas of resource allocation,
while providing the necessary impetus for highly-focused, interven-
tion-oriented, research endeavors. They also provide unparalleled ap-
plied training opportunities for health and other professionals, with
a particular emphasis on strengthening national capacities in evi-
dence-based policy, practice and resource allocations.
INDEPTH is committed to bridging these field sites and to substan-
tially enhancing their capabilities through: technical strengthening,
methodological development, widened applications to policy and prac-
tice and increased interaction between site leaders, researchers and
The 2nd INDEPTH International Scientific Conference, hosted by one of
the sites (Butajira) in Ethiopia, is aimed at strengthening the sci-
entific basis of the network, creating visibility and recognition of
the network and its member sites, and stimulating the activities of
the sites. In addition, it would be a forum for sharing experience
among site managers, scientists and researchers from the different
countries that constitute the network.
The conference will take place from January 21st to January 25th,
2002 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The exact location will be announced
Scientific abstracts for presentation at the conference should be
The Conference Organizing Committee
Department of Community Health
Faculty of Medicine
Addis Ababa University
P. O. Box 9086
Or (preferably) by e-mail:
The organizers encourage submission of the title of abstracts as soon
as possible and the deadline for submission of the whole abstract has
been extended to November 21st 2001. Junior scientists from INDEPTH
sites are especially encouraged to send articles since there will be
few travel grants that will be awarded on a competitive basis.
Abstracts on the following subjects are preferable:
- Health equity and gender
- Health research informing policy
- Community based morbidity and mortality studies
- Verbal autopsy and other methods of cause specific mortality
- Migration and health
- GIS applications in health
- Adult health and aging
- Health in transition
- Burden of diseases analysis
- Issues of networking in health
- Reproductive health, fertility and contraception including HIV/AIDS
- Analytical methods application to longitudinal health
- Health systems and decentralization
Abstracts will be selected for eligibility for presentation at the
conference and will be published on the proceedings. The length of an
abstract should not be more than 300 words and time allotted for an
abstract for presentation at the conference will not be more than 20
Delegates will be accommodated at the conference venue. A wide selec-
tion of quality hotels (both government and non-government) is avail-
able for non-delegate participants. The following are some of the ho-
tels and their current rates in US$:
Sheraton - 240 for single and 240 for double
Hilton - 140 for single and 140 for double
Ghion - 66 for single and 93 for double
Shebele - 34 for single and 46 for double
Ethiopia - 36 for single and 66 for double
Axum - 32 for single and 35 for double
Entry visas are required for all visitors to Ethiopia except for na-
tionals of Djibouti and Kenya. Visas can be obtained from Ethiopian
diplomatic missions abroad.
The local currency is the Ethiopian birr. According to the prevailing
rate, 1 US$ equals Ethiopian 8.5 birr. Attendants may import an
unlimited amount of foreign currency that must be changed at author-
ized banks and hotels.
The months of October through May are dry seasons. Morning and eve-
ning can be cold with temperature as low as 20C and daily temperature
ranging from 20C to 28C.
Ethiopia uses 220 Volt, 50 cycles AC.
Ethiopia is in +3 GMT time zone.
The official language of the country is Amharic. The language of the
conference will be in English.
Damen Haile Mariam
Send mail for the `AFRO-NETS' conference to `'.
Mail administrative requests to `'.
For additional assistance, send mail to: `'.