Some important health statistics available in various countries.
The information contained in the table that follows was obtained from a questionnaire sent by WHO in June 1953 to all Member States in order to elicit information on the types of health statistics and related vital statistics that are available in different countries, how they are obtained, and to what extent they are made available to the international organizations. The questionnaire asked for information on causes of death, causes of foetal death, and notifiable diseases, in addition to the subjects listed in the table. It will be seen that only a certain number of countries answered fully that part of the questionnaire with which we are concerned here. The reason is fairly obvious: statistics pertaining to health in its various aspects are numerous, varied, and scattered among many government departments apart from the health administrations--for instance, among the ministries of social welfare (social insurance returns, hospital statistics), of defence (army, navy, and air force health statistics), and of education (school medical inspection, number of students and graduates in medicine and in allied professions). To compile a complete inventory of existing health statistics would require many months of patient search in publications and reports and correspondence with the many national administrations concerned. (excerpt)