Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and the determinants of health related states or events in specified populations, in given places and at given times. It aims at scientifically identifying and understanding the causes of health related states or events. Such understanding leads to the elaboration of measures intended to promote, protect or restore health. Biostatistics is the application of statistical methods and techniques to health and health related problems.
Health services, all over the world, have to satisfy increased demand with dwindling resources. Detailed planning and sound management are functions of health managers at all levels. All too often, locally available data are neglected. If collected, they are not analyzed. If analyzed, they are not used for planning. Data collection becomes pointless and planning becomes blurred. Facts, reliable data and information are the basis of planning, monitoring and evaluation. Epidemiology and biostatistics are the tools used by health managers to appropriately collect relevant data, analyze, interpret and use them to make decisions affecting and protecting the health of entire communities.