Thursday, 3 January 2013


Cuba Maintains Infant Mortality Rate under Five  

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 3 (ACN) For five years in a row, Cuba has reported its infant mortality rate at less than five deaths in every one thousand live births, with 4.6 in 2012. The achievement reveals the human development level reached by the country.

According to Granma newspaper, the important indicator reached only 4.7 in 2008; 4.8 in 2010; 4.5 in 2011 and 4.6 in 2012.

This public health achievement makes Cuba one of the countries with the lowest infant mortality rates in the Americas and it is the result of the Cuban government’s political will and decision to maintain free of charge and accessible health services for all citizens, the paper explains.

The lowest infant mortality level was reported in central Sancti Spiritus province, with only 2.8, while another four territories reported indicators below the 4.6 national rate, such as Artemisa (west), 3.8; Holguin (east) and Cienfuegos (Center) both with 3.9; and Granma (east), 4.1.

Preliminary statistics released on Wednesday by the Public Health Ministry say that some 125 thousand 661 births took place in 2012, seven thousand 406 less births than in 2011.

The major cause for death in children below one year of age is the infection during the delivery process, particularly infections linked to premature babies, who are born before the 34th week.

Medical specialists told Granma newspaper that the rate of low weight at birth was kept at 6 percent in 2012, which is a favorable level, they said. This means that only six babies in every 100 births weigh less than 2500 grams (5.5 pounds). However, 3.8 percent of children still are born before complete pregnancy period.

The infant mortality rate is a demographic indicator telling the number of deaths of children before the first year of living, which is the most critical period in human survival. The indicator is an international tool to measure the quality of the assistance given to children in every country.