I once again find myself having the blessed good fortune to spend multiple weeks in wonderful Rarotonga.
it has saddened me to observe what seems to be a statistically abnormal number
of deaths on the island -albeit some being diaspora returning home to their
final resting place.
any event, by using some approximate figures, with 13,000 residents on
Rarotonga, and 8 deaths per 1000 as an arbitrary start point, the island should
therefore have something like 13 x 8 = 104 deaths per year, or approximately two
deaths per week.
Covid, both here and in NZ, the media updated us daily with often alarming case
numbers, and people who had passed with (seldom of) the virus.
this point, whilst it’s quite possible for officialdom to be disingenuous with
statistics, numbers themselves do not lie. This is something the likes of
Serena Hunter may have alluded to already. (“Stats on vaccinated catching
Covid,” 7 January, 2023, letter to the Editor.)
such, perhaps this community might be better served by cutting officialdom out
of the equation in terms of its propensity to form public opinion. Why not talk
directly to each other instead? After all, I suspect even Kata’s prodigious wit
might dry up significantly if not for the constant material provided him daily
by the candidly acknowledged fraud and corruption.
therefore, prudence requires less reliance on officialdom, and more upon each
other. Utilise your church congregations, sports clubs, 19th hole kōreros,
neighbours, social media, and letters to the Editor.
now, my rudimentary numbers suggest two Rarotonga deaths per week should be
normal. However, for effectiveness, a more accurate pre-Covid baseline is
required in order to compare yesterday, and today’s apples.
for example, it is now averaging 2.5 deaths per week compared to two per week,
that would be a statistically alarming 25 per cent increase. Just bear in mind
that when researching such figures, they have a tendency to get disingenuously
massaged, so go direct to the source. All deaths must be registered – just
tally them up.
as tragic as the passing of a loved one is, an extra person every few weeks is
not immediately obvious across a busy island community of 13,000≈. However, if
seemingly ever younger, and/or fitter people also appear to be succumbing, then
out of a preponderance of caution, is not some reflection at least prudent?
the record, with around 4.8 million people in 2019, it was perfectly normal for
NZ to have 90≈ deaths per day pre-Covid. But according to StatsNZ, deaths per
1000 have risen by over 10 per cent post-Covid. Or approximately 10 extra
deaths per day -that is a huge amount of extra grief. Why?
in my observation, Cook Islands media have a refreshingly blunt approach to
public discourse. So how about asking them to provide a weekly update graphic
comparing Rarotonga stats for the week across 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023?
It’s the old business adage, ‘if you can’t measure, you can’t manage.’ And
after all, if officialdom has nothing to hide, there should be no issue.
Therefore I’d suggest tracking total deaths, infant mortality, suicide, and
road fatalities, all given as X/1000 to remove population fluctuation bias. Is
there a pattern of increase pre to post Covid? If so, why?
are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is
vital.” – Aaron Levenstein
I agree that numbers do not lie because Mr Robinson himself have not lived in
the Cook Islands long enough to know the lifestyle and the unhealthy choices
that people make for themselves. In 2021, 5500 people in the Cook Islands were
diagnosed for non-communicable diseases which many have multiple comorbidities
themselves. Numbers also do not lie as to how many people that government
supports to be referred to New Zealand for further tertiary treatment. It is
for this reason that TMO with the support of government and development
partners is rolling out the Healthy and Smoke Free Islands initiatives to all
Islands in the Southern Group to date with the team in Aitutaki this (last)
week. The data from the screening for the four islands (Atiu, Mitiaro, Mauke,
Mangaia and now Aitutaki) and all the schools on Rarotonga is concerning. This
is what we will strive to improve the health and wellbeing of our children
today so they don’t in the same situation that we face today, as your writer
says that more people are dying. NCD is the silent killer not only to our
people but worldwide. All the screenings
done for the islands and the schools has been presented to the islands
themselves and they are well aware of the health situations – yes numbers do
graham roper on 01/12/2023
“The numbers do not lie”. Yet again the first comment made by Williams is a personal attack on an individual implying ‘don’t live in the Cook Islands so wouldn’t know the reality’.
Actual causes of deaths in the Islands is difficult to establish as there is no pathologist to undertake full post-mortems. (Blood test and an X-ray don’t reveal much).
More that $5 million given to the TMO by Japan but no evidence on spending ( can’t lie if no numbers produced)
The dollar numbers spent on travel to conferences around the world by the SOH Williams were more than enough to provide much needed pay increases to medical staff, numbers don’t lie.
Oversea travel costs by the SOH and the Minister of health to events that had no benefit to the people of the CI could have funded 2 community nurses to assist people with diabetes, in their homes, to manage their on going health, the numbers do not lie.
The $1.6 million that showed as surplus in the TMO financial accounts of 2021/22 is unacceptable, the numbers don’t lie.
It’s time the ex police officer resigned as SOH due to a complete lack of knowledge on how to understand what the “numbers that do not lie” mean for the people of the Cook Islands.