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    Monitoring global health [letter]

    Dye C; Raviglione M

    BMJ. British Medical Journal. 2005 Jan 22; 330:[2] p..

    In their critique of procedures of the World Health Organization for analysing and presenting health statistics, Murray et al make a series of misleading statements about monitoring and evaluation of tuberculosis. Ironically, part of the reason that they can criticise WHO's tuberculosis statistics is that, by design, WHO is completely open about the process of gathering, analysing, and presenting data. We refer to just three issues among many more. Firstly, it is untrue that no affordable and feasible methods are currently available to assess tuberculosis in a community. China, India, and other countries have carried out a series of large scale population surveys of infection and disease that have shown, or have the potential to show, the impact of their tuberculosis control programmes. Secondly, after years of exposure to these statistics, Murray et al still do not seem to understand the meaning of basic indicators, such as case detection, and how they are used in planning and evaluation. These indicators are fully explained in our annual report. (excerpt)
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