The Navrongo Health and Demographic Surveillance System (NHDSS) site is located in the Kassena-Nankana District of the Upper East region of Ghana. The district covers an area of 1675 km2 along the Ghana-Burkina Faso border. It measures roughly 55 km x 50 km and has an altitude of 200-400 m above sea level. The land is fairly flat, and passing through it from Burkina Faso is the White Volta River, which feeds Lake Volta (the world's largest artificial lake) in southern Ghana. Located in the Guinea savannah belt, the district is typically Sahelian (hot and dry).
Set up in 1993, the NHDSS was established to support research on the determinants of morbidity, mortality and fertility in Ghana’s northern regions. One of the most important recent changes that the NHDSS has introduced in its data collection system, is to reconfigure the system from the compound as the unit of analysis to the household level as happens in many other HDSS sites and also to conform to demographic and health surveys worldwide. To this end, during the last quarter of 2004, the NHDSS started introducing these changes, which became operational in early 2006. Due to some operational and financial challenges In 2009,, there were only two updates rounds done in that year.