To track maternal and child health and sociodemographic changes at the community level, in collaboration with our partners, we have been operating a Demographic Surveillance System (DSS) since 2007. The initial infrastructure for developing this system dates back to 2003 from the Maternal and Newborn Intervention Study funded by Wellcome Trust.
The DSS is based in Mirzapur, a rural sub-district of Bangladesh, 65 km north of Dhaka, consisting of 10 unions and 156 villages. The DSS catchment area is divided into 19 clusters, each consisting of 4000 households, further classified into 80 blocks of 50 households. A group of community health workers complete data collection from all 4000 households every 4 months.
Information regarding vital events like migration, pregnancy and its outcomes, and birth and deaths of the people residing in the individual households are collected during each visit. Additionally, sociodemographic information, vaccination status of under-5 children and women’s reproductive history are collected. Furthermore, each child is provided with a smart card after enrollment to track their progress and healthcare needs within the DSS area of Mirzapur.