he objective of this study is to determine whether existing data sources from household interview based surveys conducted in a large number of countries may be used towards estimating the distribution and levels of severity of non-fatal health at the population level. Operationally, this objective addresses two main questions: 1. Is there information content on the severity and distribution of non-fatal health status in data collected through household interview surveys? 2. May this information be compared in a valid and reliable manner across countries? The paper first reviews current approaches to measure health status within interview based surveys and the limitations of these approaches concerning the cross-population comparability of data collected, not only the comparability of questions. Issues demanding further attention concerning the cross-population comparability include inconsistent reporting and differences in end-points and cut-points on reference scales. These limitations prevent the meaningful comparison of survey data within and across populations. The paper then describes and tests a methodology to extract information on non-fatal health status. This approach is specific to self-reported data from different surveys conducted in different populations, as a first attempt to improve comparability of data given that no external means to calibrate responses are available.