Mumbai: BMC notice to Praja for misleading data

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has served a notice to Praja Foundation, which had on Wednesday, in a press conference revealed the poor conditions of BMC hospitals and the health department. In a letter sent on July 13, to the managing trustee of the Praja Foundation Nitai Mehta, by the deputy municipal commissioner (public health) Sunil Dhamne and executive health officer Dr Padmaja Keskar, the BMC has stated that the whole aim of the exercise undertaken by the NGO has been to malign a public body and mislead citizens at large.

“While publishing the data you have not consulted any programme officers and not understood how data is to be analysed in a scientific way and that the fact should have been brought to the notice of public health authorities, before publishing the results,” says the letter. “As the information given to the press was wrong, the non-governmental organisation has been asked to give an unconditional apology and public clarification or action deemed fit would be initiated against them,” the letter further states.

Meanwhile, the civic body has also decided that all the information related to the health department will be made available on the official website of the BMC, so that NGOs like Praja Foundation will not be required to file an RTI in order to get information of such nature. While the BMC has demanded a public apology it has also warned that if same is not done legal action would be initiated. The letter further states, “While preparing the report you (Praja) have ignored the procedural change involved in the screening of malnutrition which was based on age and height of the child till 2013-14, whereas in 2014-15 and 2015-16 screening food malnutrition was based on height and weight. Accordingly, comparison of 8% in 2013-14, 26% in 2014-15 and 34% in 2015-16 is not appropriate. You seemed to have used our data but conveniently have changed the norms. This fact should have been brought in

Accordingly, comparison of 8% in 2013-14, 26% in 2014-15 and 34% in 2015-16 is not appropriate. You seemed to have used our data but conveniently have changed the norms. This fact should have been brought in public domain before publishing the results. The change in assumption by you have not been published in your study.”

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