Health & Demographic Surveillance System Profile: The Rufiji Health and Demographic Surveillance System (Rufiji HDSS)

Int J Epidemiol. 2015 Apr;44(2):472-83. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyv018. Epub 2015 Mar 8.


The Rufiji Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS) was established in October 1998 to evaluate the impact on burden of disease of health system reforms based on locally generated data, prioritization, resource allocation and planning for essential health interventions. The Rufiji HDSS collects detailed information on health and survival and provides a framework for population-based health research of relevance to local and national health priorities.In December 2012 the population under surveillance was about 105,503 people, residing in 19,315 households. Monitoring of households and members within households is undertaken in regular 6-month cycles known as 'rounds'. Self reported information is collected on demographic, household, socioeconomic and geographical characteristics. Verbal autopsy is conducted using standardized questionnaires, to determine probable causes of death. In conjunction with core HDSS activities, the ongoing studies in Rufiji HDSS focus on maternal and new-born health, evaluation of safety of artemether-lumefantrine (AL) exposure in early pregnancy and the clinical safety of a fixed dose of dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DHA-PQP) in the community. Findings of studies conducted in Rufiji HDSS can be accessed at

Keywords: Demography; INDEPTH net-work; Rufiji; Tanzania; cause of death; fertility; migration; mortality; verbal autopsy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child Mortality
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Data Collection / methods
  • Demography / statistics & numerical data
  • Emigration and Immigration / statistics & numerical data
  • Epidemiological Monitoring
  • Female
  • Food Supply / statistics & numerical data
  • Forecasting
  • Health Care Reform
  • Health Services Research / methods
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Residence Characteristics / statistics & numerical data
  • Sex Distribution
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Tanzania / epidemiology
  • Young Adult