WHO Hokus Pokus

Source: Franfurter Algemeine Zeitung, 13-06-2001

The criticism of the World Health Organization continues, even after the change in the leadership. After Mrs. Brundtland replaced the controversial Japanese Hirochi Nakajima, one hoped for a change. But such expectations were not fulfilled, as in the past year the world health report 2000 has proved to be a scandalous document, which strengthens doubts once again about the ability of this organization to act.

The report contains a ranked list, which classifies individual nations according to the health performance which they offer to their citizens. France is in first place, Germany is in 25th. Between them are countries like Portugal, Oman and Colombia. Saudi Arabia comes after Germany. This ranked list had already been criticised as misleading and flawed; the bureaucrats succumbed to its ideological prejudices and offended scientific principles, it was said.

Those fears seem to have been well-founded. According to recent information from the British medicine journal ” The Lancet ” no statistical data were available for 70 to 89 per cent of the 191 nations analyzed. The rankings were calculated by doubtful methods by the bureaucrats of the World Health Organization. Besides, the calculations were not checked by independent experts. The results contradict the results of other recognized studies.

This criticism is not only confined to scientific and technical details. The world health report is there to help individual governments improve the health care of their citizens. Thus it has extensive social consequences. The World Health Organization should therefore supply only reliable data in the future and use satisfactorily proven methods for their analyses.

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