Mumbai civic body set to act against NGO for ‘misreporting’ health data

Top officials said they are soon going to choke the financial sources of the Mumbai-based NGO since they are attempting to malign them with their reports on health.

mumbai Updated: Jul 20, 2017 09:53 IST
Sadaguru Pandit
Sadaguru Pandit
Hindustan Times
Mumbai civic body,NGO,Praja
The public health department of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) may soon appeal to the United Kingdom-based financiers of NGO Praja Foundation to stop funding the group. (HT)

The public health department of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) may soon appeal to the United Kingdom-based financiers of NGO Praja Foundation to stop funding the group.

Officials, who are looking into the NGO’s allegedly unscientific method of collecting data and misrepresentation of statistics, said they are going to take a legal course against the NGO for creating panic through their reports on public health.

“We are welcome to scrutiny, but only when the data collection and presentation follows necessary international and national guidelines, which even we follow while collecting this data. These white papers are prepared by unqualified personnel with no scientific background and don’t go through a technical advisory committee, which can confirm the statistics,” said Dr Santosh Revankar, deputy executive health officer, BMC.

Since May this year, the NGO has released papers on malnutrition, tuberculosis, malaria and dengue based on statistics accessed through Right To Information queries. The RTIs were filed with dispensaries, hospitals, health posts and health departments of BMC head office and ward offices. However, BMC officials claim the methodology used to collate the information and interpretation of data was unscientific and against World Health Organisation and national disease control guidelines.

“The data collection has been done from different sources of BMC and thus there is a massive duplication. Secondly, the death statistics, based on birth and death reports, are false because most of the time, these deaths are certified by unqualified doctors who haven’t treated or diagnosed the patient,” said a top official.

Top officials said they are soon going to choke the financial sources of the NGO since they are attempting to malign the public body.

“Once we compile the details of how data collection and presentation was done, we will present the case to the financers and request them to stop funding these malicious activities. Our officers are consulted while drafting national health policies and city’s treatment protocols are followed across the country. If we are wrongly framed for working hard, then we will react harshly,” said a top BMC official.

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First Published: Jul 20, 2017 09:53 IST