Analysis: Health by numbers: A statistician’s challenge | Reuters
Above all else, analyzing the state of the world’s health - be it by looking at obesity rates, cancer cases, malaria deaths, or HIV-free births - requires decent statistics.
Billions of dollars are allocated and whole policy shifts made on the basis of figures from United Nations agencies like the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF or the World Bank.
Yet good data are hard to find, as the WHO’s statistical analysis team knows. And extrapolating meaningful global figures from sparse raw material can be fraught with danger.
In an interview with Reuters ahead of this week’s World Health Statistics report, Ties Boerma, WHO’s director of health statistics and information systems, started with a little known but alarming fact: “Two thirds of deaths in the world are not registered. And a third of births are also not registered.”
I really doubt if anyone who has used the $1.25 a day line (or prior “$1 a day” line, based on old and out-dated data) thinks it is “morally acceptable” as long as nobody lives on less than this frugal sum. Nor is it imaginable that the UN thinks it is “morally acceptable” as long as no more 20% or so of the developing world’s population lives under $1.25 a day, as implied by their MDG for poverty.Politically-filtered views on progress against poverty
Kind of crazy but fascinating (via Stephen Wolfram Blog : The Personal Analytics of My Life).