Department of Public Health
Health indicators are the tools with which we measure
the health status of a community.
Uses of health indicators :
i) To measures the health status of a community.
ii) To compare the health status of one country with that
iii) To assess the health need of the people.
iv) To allocate the health resources.
v) To monitor and evaluate of health services, activities and programmes.
vi) To provide feedbacks for reprogramming for better use of resources and accelerating progress in' health
Criteria of health indicator/ideal
i. Should be valid i.e. they should actually measure
what they are supposed to measure.
ii. Should be reliable & objective, i.e. the answers
should be the same if measured by different
people in similar circumstances.
iii. Should be sensitive, i.e. they should be sensitive
to changes in the situation concerned.
iv. Should be specific, i.e. they should reflect
changes only in the situation concerned.
v. Should be feasible, i.e. they should have the
ability to obtain data needed and
vi. Should be relevant, i.e. they should contribute to
the understanding of the phenomenon of interest.
In short :
Criteria of health indicator/ideal indicator:
i) Should be valid.
ii) Should be reliable and objective.
ii) Should be sensitive.
iii) Should be specific
iv) Should be feasible.
v) Should be relevant.
Indicators of health
1) Mortality indicators:
Crude death rate (CDR)
Expectation of life
Infant mortality rate (IMR)
Child mortality rate (CMR)
Under five proportionate mortality rate.
Maternal mortality rate (MMR)
Disease-specific mortality rate.
Proportional mortality rate.
2) Morbidity indicators:
Incidence & Prevalence
Attendance rate at out door patient, health
Hospital admission , readmission & Hospital
Duration of stay in hospital
Spells of sickness or absence from work or
3) Disability rate: The disability rate falls into two groups. a)
Event type indicators:
Number of days of restricted activity.
Bed disability days.
Work loss days (or school loss days) with in specified period. b)
Limitation of mobility:
Confined to bed
Continued to house
Limitation of activity:
Limitation to perform the basic activities of daily living (ADL) - eating, washing, dressing etc.
Limitation in major activities ability to work at a job, ability to house work etc.
4) Nutritional status indicators:
Anthropometric measurement of preschool
children- e.g. Weight, height, mid upper arm
(MUAC), skin fold thickness, BMI
Height of children at school entry
Prevalence of low birth weight (Less than 2Skg)
5) Health cares delivery indicators:
Doctors population ratio
Doctors nurse ratio
Population bed ratio
Population per health centre/sub-centre
Population per traditional birth attendant.
6) Utilization rates:
Proportion of infants fully immunized against six EPI
Proportion of pregnant women being delivered by trained
Proportion of pregnant women receiving antenatal care by trained health personnel
Proportion of pregnant women receiving two doses of T.T. Bed -occupancy rate.
Percentage of the population is using various method of
family planning. Average length of stay in hospital.
Patient turn over ratio.
7) Social and mental health indicator:
Drug and alcohol abuse rate.
Family violence rate.
Battered baby and battered wife syndromes rate.
Road traffic accidents rate.
8) Environmental health indicators:
•Proportion of population having access to safe sanitation •Proportion of population having...
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