The Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) has published its updated analytical datasets for 2016.

The datasets cover socio-economic, education and employment information for individuals and households in AHRI’s population research area in rural northern KwaZulu-Natal. The datasets also include details on the migration patterns of the individuals and households who migrated into and out of the surveillance area as well as data on probable causes of death for individuals who passed away. Data collection for the 2016 individual interviews – which involves a dried blood spot sample being taken – is still in progress, and therefore datasets on HIV status and General Health only go up to 2015 for now.

Over the past 16 years researchers have developed an extensive longitudinal database of demographic, social, economic, clinical and laboratory information about people over the age of 15 living in the AHRI population research area. During this time researchers have followed more than 160 000 people, of which 92 000 are still in the programme.

“The longitudinal nature of the datasets makes them unique in that one can follow an individual from the cradle to the grave while you are identifying all sorts of exposures that the individual had during their lifetime,” explains Dickman Gareta, Head of Research Data Management at AHRI.

Gareta says researchers will find the datasets user-friendly. Extra documentation and questionnaires which were used during data collection are on hand to download and will help to contextualise the datasets.

Interested bona fide researchers can access and download the analytical datasets through the AHRI data repository: You will need to agree to AHRI’s terms and conditions for use. All requests for ad hoc datasets which are not on the data repository should be directed to AHRI’s Helpdesk at

Top photo: Fieldworker Philile Mcambi captures data in northern KwaZulu-Natal. Photo by Ben Gilbert, Wellcome