Epidemiology, literally translated from Greek, means "the study of people".

In fact, we use the term epidemiology to mean the study of diseases or other health related events in populations.

Epidemiology has three main aims:

  • To describe disease and other health related event patterns in human populations.
  • To identify the causes of diseases and other health related events (also known as aetiology).
  • To provide data essential for the management, evaluation and planning of services for the prevention, control and treatment of disease and other health related events.

Professionals who work in the area of epidemiology are known as epidemiologists.

Epidemiology combines the disciplines of medicine, health sciences, social sciences on the one hand and statistics on the other and, to some extent detective work, to make an interesting and varied profession.