Cuba’s Infant Mortality Rate Hits Record Low in 2017

HAVANA, Dec. 30th  Cuba’s infant mortality rate was registered at 4.1 per 1,000 live births in 2017, the lowest in the history of the Caribbean country, the Ministry of Public Health said on Thursday.

The mortality of infants under one year of age had declined to 35 cases and there is a possibility that by the end of December it could be even lower, the Minister of Public Health, Roberto Morales, said during an act of homage to workers in the sector, according to the state agency Cuban News Agency (ACN).

“This is a milestone that reflects the integration of the entire health care system in the country. It’s about lives to be saved, quality of life, happiness and satisfaction for our people,” the head of Cuban public health said.

He elaborated that low birth weight was reduced from 5.2 to 5.0 per 100 births, and maternal mortality rates from 42.6 to 38.0 per 100,000 live births and schoolchildren, from 2.1 to 1.7 per 10,000 inhabitants.

Morales said that the report also indicates 0.9 deaths per 1,000 live births due to congenital malformations as a result of the development and improvement of the genetic regulatory network.

In addition, the health minister highlighted the achievements of the program for cancer control, which in the last three years managed to halt the increase in mortality from this disease.

He said that the elimination of diseases such as poliomyelitis, diphtheria, tetanus in newborns, whooping cough, measles, rubella and parotitis has been maintained and that the impact indicators have been met, after the mother-to-child transmission of HIV was eliminated.

In 2016, Cuba saw an infant mortality rate of 4.3, which implied that for nine consecutive years the island reported a rate of less than 5 deaths per 1,000 live births.