Essentially, it’s a year of healthy life lost. People can lose a healthy year of life because of death or being sick (disability). When we avert one DALY, it means that we prevented the loss of one year of productive, healthy life – a year of life that, without our intervention, would have been lost to illness or death.
Measuring the Health of a Population
It’s important to understand that a DALY is used to measure the health of a population, country, region etc. not just one person. So, to calculate the DALYs of a population, you would add up:
Still sound too complicated?
No worries, let’s break it down further with an example. The real calculations are a bit more complicated with models, coefficients, estimations, etc, but the CONCEPT is important to understand. And that’s what we’re focusing on here.
Let’s Say There is a Village of 100 People in 2012…
Now, Let’s Say PSI Works in that Village…
Print out PSI’s So, What’s a DALY? infographic: