MALICIOUS AND INCORRECT REPORTING BY THE NAMIBIAN SUN
The MVA Fund was disturbed to learn of the headline in the Namibian Sun dated February 13, 2018, titled “Nation Mislead”. The Fund refutes the allegation with the strongest contempt and wishes to clarify the following facts:
Firstly it is important to dispel the allegation that MVA Fund and National Road Safety Council (NRSC) are at loggerheads over road death statistics. To the contrary, the practice is that road crash data is released at common platforms after verification and agreement by all stakeholders including the NRSC, MVA Fund, Namibian Police and City of Windhoek where applicable.
It is indisputable that the various role players have and will have disparities in road crash statistics given the different mandates requiring the focus areas on different factors relating to crashes. And this is well known in the industry i.e.:
a) The MVA Fund records crash statistics relating to crashes resulting in injuries or deaths ONLY. This is specifically so, because these are the ones that qualify for further claims handling by the MVA Fund. A disclaimer is always made as part of our published reports.
We need to mention here that upon a crash occurring, the data collection commences already as emergency response is already dispatched through our 24 Hour call center.
Upon admission Case Management is activated where the injured are followed up for further treatment and rehabilitation (of which some cases end up as fatalities, inevitably changing initial figure of death).
b) The NRSC collects their statistics from the Namibian Police who record all types of crashes including crashes resulting in property damage and which does not necessarily cause any injuries or deaths.
Hence it is important to stress that the type of data as well as the period being compared need to be in alignment. As the article alleges, Nampol defines fatality as a death occurring within 24 hours of the crash. NRSC follows this definition, whilst the MVA Fund definition follows the World Health Organisation (WHO) international reporting standards, which defines fatalities as those who die within 30 days of a crash. This is stated clearly under ‘data collection methods’ in all our published reports.
Therefore, we wish to state that data made public by the MVA Fund at any stage is correct and factual in accordance to what we collected through our emergency call centre.
In conclusion we wish to register our disappointment with this type of malicious, irresponsible reporting, which has the potential to cause strife in the industry but also brings the country’s statistical integrity in disrepute.
If indeed the reporter’s inquiry was to establish whether the Nation is being misled, he should have indicated as such and we would have responded accordingly.