Engenharia Sanitaria e Ambiental
versión On-line ISSN 1809-4457
COSTA, Silvano Silvério da; HELLER, Léo; BRANDAO, Cristina Celia Silveira y COLOSIMO, Enrico Antônio. Epidemiological indicators applied to studies about association between water supply and sanitation and health based on data at municipal level. Eng. Sanit. Ambient. [online]. 2005, vol.10, n.2, pp. 118-127. ISSN 1809-4457. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-41522005000200005.
Environmental health surveillance has been recently implemented in Brazil. Drinking water quality surveillance, a fundamental aspect of the environmental health surveillance, lacks specific studies and research to provide scientific background for its practice. In this field, the identification and selection of epidemiological indicators are essential to provide means to evaluate the impact of deficiencies of water supply and sanitation on human health. So, these indicators are powerful tools for the establishment of drinking water surveillance programs, as well as for identification of priorities, rational planning and funding of water supply and sanitation projects. The present paper is part of a broader study on the selection of sanitary indicators to be used as "sentinel indicators" for prevention and control of diseases associated to water and sanitation. In this context, this paper presents a brief literature review, descriptive statistics of some epidemiological indicators collected from municipalities of 4 Brazilian States, as well as a discussion on the applicability of these indicators in studies of this nature. Among the epidemiological indicators evaluated, infant mortality, diarrhoea mortality in children under 5 years old and the diarrhoea morbidity in children under 5 years old based on data from the Brazilian Monitoring of Acute Diarrhoeal Disease program seem to be the more adequate.
Palabras clave : Epidemiological indicators; water and sanitation; environmental health; diarrhoea; infant mortality.