I-MAG STS    Corporation
As the amateur but influential statistician I.V.  Dzugasvili is alleged to have said, "A single death is a tragedy; a
million deaths is a statistic." Technically, infant mortality is defined as the percentage of live births that die within 12
month. Of course, countries with inadequate health infrastructures manipulate their numbers by declaring an excess
of children that die at age 13 months, or a very high abortion rate. When all else fails, a nation can simply opt not to
report. With some effort it can be worked out that in one particular year there were more than 65,000 infants born in
Albania and about 1400 died. One problem with reporting infant mortality as a percentage (so as to simplify
comparisons among nations) is that 2.152% is psychologically perceived as 0%. So 1400 tragedies become mere
statistics.  Even when infant mortality is precisely counted, there are at least four major problems with annual,
national figures. First, we fail to see any medical or mathematical reason why deaths of children aged 1 to 18 should
not be reported with equal emphasis. Second, there is rarely ever any detail that breaks out cause of death for
infants. Third, annual reporting masks seasonal and other influences. And fourth, nations are big places with many
diverse environments so what is desirable is precise locations, times and causes of deaths. Albania has 12
sub-countries known as qarku. These are further divided into 36 rrethe, which would be the equivalent of American
counties. In most years a qarku named Shkoder in northern Albania accounted for  8.40% of the infants who died.
This was NOT significantly higher than the 8.3%s associated with other qarkus.  In one particular year, Shkoder shot
up to over 10%. Shkoder is divided into three rrethe - two of which actually had lower rates than the national
average. A rrethe named Shkoder along Lake Scutari contributed the bulk of the variance. Unfortunately, Serbia
was located to the north and did not excel at statistics. In a nation like Malawi infant mortality correlates strongly to
rainfall. More rain means more mosquitoes, and more babies die of yellow fever, dengue and malaria.  There are
other factors like poverty, doctors working and vaccinations that influence infant mortality. In Shkoder, those
weren't the dominant factor. Neither has Congo-Crimean fever, AIDS nor bird flu broken out.  To get our full
analysis contact us. Extra credit for identifying the amateur statistician or for sending chocolates.    
© 2018 Peter F. Zoll. All rights reserved. 
© 2018 Peter F. Zoll. All rights reserved.