Student blog post: 5.4 Million have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo between 1998-2007 due to the civil war researchers say.

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In a study carried out by the International rescue committee, the president of the committee, George Rupp said ‘The conflict and its aftermath, in terms of fatalities, surpass any other since the second world war,’ he went onto say ‘Congo’s loss is equivalent to the entire population of Denmark or the state of Colorado perishing within a decade.’ However when examining the investigation and what it actually set out to find, the statistical claim made by the International Rescue Committee falls apart. ‘Since our last study in 2004, there’s been no change in the national [mortality] rate, which is nearly 60% higher than the sub-Saharan average,’ said Richard Brennan, who is the director of the countries global health programme. Using the figure of the national mortality rate hurts their argument when comparing it to their own findings, as their survey did not cover the every single death, their study was only conducted on 14,000 households across the DRC. They are already extrapolating their statistics and increasing them for use on a nationwide scale. This will lead to a thoroughly unrepresentative sample of people who have died. As well as this their sample of people who have died in war will be even more inaccurate, as they are claiming that these deaths all stem from the war, which implies combat deaths, whereas the high mortality rate of the DRC is because of problems indicative of many sub-Saharan nations, diseases such as Malaria and AIDS contributed massively, to put all these deaths down to war is irresponsible and misleading. Perhaps they should have just conducted a survey in the most war torn areas of the country, these would have had smaller populations, and therefore the survey would have been more representative of the loss of the local area, as well as this they would still be able to get a good figure for a headline as well, due to the smaller populations, they would likely just a high percentage figure of people who have experienced loss or been displaced


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