40.2 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 seen||Name||Kebele||Sex||Age (months/years)||Signs and symptoms||Suspected 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|