Response to The New Times article on W.H.O figures

Editor, Allow me to respond to article appeared in The New Times, December 09, titled “WHO figures on Rwanda outdated – officials”.  The report referred to was neither published by the World Health Organisation, nor is the presenter of the World Competitiveness Report findings from WHO, but from the World Economic Forum.

Editor,

Allow me to respond to article appeared in The New Times, December 09, titled “WHO figures on Rwanda outdated – officials”.

The report referred to was neither published by the World Health Organisation, nor is the presenter of the World Competitiveness Report findings from WHO, but from the World Economic Forum.

The report shows that the reference for two of the data items mentioned (Infant mortality and Life expectancy) were taken from World Bank Reports, and not WHO Reports. For the third data item (Malaria incidence), the report’s authors chose to use a 2008 WHO publication on Malaria.

Please note that the latest World Malaria Report was published in 2010 and was shared with the Ministry of Health and other partners. This report shows the outstanding improvement made by Rwanda in the fight against malaria.

WHO is a technical organisation that supports and works with Rwanda and other member states on the basis of scientific evidence.

We are unhappy because of the publication of the story without giving us a chance to respond to the allegations.

We are very aware of the recent gains of the Rwanda health sector as documented in the preliminary results of the Demographic Health Survey (DHS). However, the DHS is still unpublished and cannot be referenced by the authors until they are published.

Being publishers of scientific reports, we do know that these reports take several months to collate and write. So, some data become dated by the time of publication and they cannot be expected to include the DHS that even today, is not yet formally published.

The WHO is proud of Rwanda’s health achievements, and will do all it can to help improve them even further.

D. Dovlo
WHO Representative

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