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Epidemiologists in many developing countries, where official demographic services are unavailable, have to include some demographic functions in their work. The usual method of documenting a study population for epidemiological research in a developing country consists of three stages: mapping, enumeration and vital registration. This paper considers the last element of this process, detailing the development of a suitable data system and explaining how its implementation using microcomputers and a database management system can help in the creation of an on-line continuous vital registration system for a study population as an epidemiological tool. The issues covered are data collection, entry and analysis, and the advantages of such a system for use in epidemiological research in developing countries are also discussed.


Journal article


Methods Inf Med

Publication Date





155 - 159


Africa, Africa South Of The Sahara, Computers, Data Analysis, Data Collection, Demography, Developing Countries, English Speaking Africa, Epidemiologic Methods, Gambia, Information, Information Processing, Population Register, Population Statistics, Research Methodology, Social Sciences, Western Africa, Africa, Western, Data Collection, Database Management Systems, Epidemiologic Methods, Information Systems, Microcomputers, Online Systems, Population Surveillance, Time Factors, Tropical Medicine, Vital Statistics