Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Vital statistics: not vital enough

29.10.2007
The need for reliable national statistics for births, deaths, and causes of death has never been greater – but countries and developmental partners have not recognised this as a priority. These are the conclusions of Dr Prasanta Mahapatra, Institute of Health Systems, Hyderabad, India, and colleagues – authors of this second paper in the Who Counts? Series in The Lancet.

The authors look at sources of this data worldwide, and say that few developing countries have been able to improve their civil registration and vital statistics systems in the past 50 years. They say: “International efforts to improve comparability of vital statistics seem to be effective, and there is reasonable progress in collection and publication of data. However, worldwide efforts to improve data have been limited to sporadic and short-term measures.”

On cause of death data sent to WHO, for example, countries providing the highest quality (90-100% complete) include, not surprisingly, developed countries like the UK, USA, and Iceland, and also several Latin American countries such as Venezuela and Chile. Those providing no data at all include many African countries, North Korea, Andorra and East Timor in a total of 68 countries. The authors say two points from the data stand out: “First, the absence of data reported to WHO from sub-Saharan African countries and second, the mixed quality cause-of-death reporting from Europe, Asia, and Latin America. In particular, not all developed countries seem to have high quality data.”

They add: “Our collective inability to make or sustain improvements in vital statistics is due to two principal failures; first, national governments have not made civil registration systems a priority, and second, development partners do not yet recognise such systems as crucially important in the development infrastructure.”

Whilst over the last half century, the world has become healthier despite the absence of vital statistics, the authors propose: “Surely that development would have been widespread and much more equitable if people had access to intelligence about regional and local differences in disease burden?”

They conclude: “Sustainable civil registration systems that yield reliable information about the state of a population’s health should be a key development goal for all countries. It is unacceptable for us to be as ignorant about the state of a nation’s health in 50 years time as we are today.”

Tony Kirby | alfa
Further information:
http://www.thelancet.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers
16.02.2018 | National University of Science and Technology MISIS

nachricht New process allows tailor-made malaria research
16.02.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

MRI technique differentiates benign breast lesions from malignancies

20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering

Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>