Health Impact Assessment (HIA)

Assessing health impacts in the mining sector in the tropics: advancing tools and methods

Resource/Evaluation type

HIA methods

Subject area



Democratic Republic of Congo

In the developing world, large-scale projects in the extractive industry and natural resources sectors are often associated with long-term adverse health consequences to local communities. Whereas HIA has been institutionalized in many industrialised countries, relatively few HIAs have been performed in mining settings in developing countries.

In this publication, a multi-national research team presents a new HIA approach, developed for a large gold-mining project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. For the risk profiling, the authors use the articulation of environmental health areas, the spatial delineation of potentially affected communities and a variety of sources to obtain quality baseline health data. The article describes how these tools and data are fed into a risk analysis matrix, so as to rank potential health impacts for the subsequent prioritization of mitigation strategies. The outcomes are a multitude of environmental and health determinants that are presented in a systematic manner in order to assist decision-makers.


Authors and E-mail

Mirko Winkler, corresponding author
E-mail: mirko.winkler[at]

Owner contact details

Department of Public Health and Epidemiology
Swiss Tropical Institute
4002 Basel