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Jakarta Post

Insight: Attacks on evidence, trust and truth wreak havoc on global health

  • Tikki Pangestu

    Visiting professor at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore

Singapore   /   Wed, December 11 2019   /  12:25 am

Health systems in low and low middle-income countries (LMICs) struggle to deliver quality health care because of limited resources, poor infrastructure and a failure to use evidence wherever possible.There is, in fact, plausible evidence that policies informed by available evidence and rational analysis can produce better outcomes.However, in most LMICs, this use of evidence remains aspirational. The reality is often very different — a reality in which opinion, values, beliefs, traditions and even ideology can trump facts, truth and evidence.Why is this? There are four reasons.First is the lack of good and relevant evidence. This is important because in forming policies, most policymakers in these countries place more weight on evidence derived from local research than on evidence obtained through other means. Unfortunately, such evidence is often lacking or of poor quality. In additio...