Leaders from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and the World Health Organization (WHO) forged a commitment to improve the quality and application of estimates about global health challenges.

The representatives signed a Memorandum of Understanding that outlined the areas in which the two organizations will collaborate to accurately estimate the health issues facing the world.

Current health data is rarely accessible for each year and population. When the data is available, it may or may not be comparable year over year because the data comes from various household surveys, research projects and hospital records. Because of these different methods and other variables, research findings can vary significantly. There have been other instances in which there were gaps in data or no data at all. The new collaboration seeks to remedy this situation.

The two organizations see this agreement as an opportunity to increase the accessibility, transparency and consistency of global health estimates, making it easier for policymakers to make wise, informed decisions about developing and prioritizing public health and research programs.

“Accurate health statistics are the foundation of a good health system,” Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, assistant director-general for Health Systems and Innovation at WHO, said. “When we know what makes people ill and why they die, we know where to put resources.”

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