Cuba reports infant mortality rate of 4.9 in 2020 despite Covid-19

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Cuba closed ranks in the protection of our children, and maintained first-world indicators, ending 2020 with an infant mortality rate of 4.9 per 1,000 live births, 36 fewer deaths than the previous year. This accomplishment was achieved at the same time that Covid-19 led to one of the worse health crises the world has ever seen.

According to preliminary information from the Ministry of Public Health (Minsap) of Cuba, in addition to the extraordinary achievement of not registering a single infant or maternal death as a result of the virus, the country recorded the lowest infant mortality rate due to congenital malformations in our history, with 0.7 per 1,000 live births, while reducing the mortality rate for children under five years of age, from 6.6 to 6.2 per 1,000 live births, as compared to 2019.

A total of 105,030 children were born on the island – 4,686 fewer than the previous year – and in 32 of the country’s municipalities (19.05%) no deaths were reported.

The provinces with the lowest infant mortality rates per 1,000 live births were Holguín (3.4), Sancti Spíritus (3.4), Mayabeque (3.5), Villa Clara (3.7) and Pinar del Río (3.7).

In the year that has just ended, the maternal mortality rate was 40 per 100,000 live births, with one more death than in 2019, when a rate of 37.4 was recorded.

Likewise, the preschool mortality rate decreased from 3.5 to 2.8 per 10,000 children between one and four years of age, with 37 fewer deaths. The school mortality rate also fell from 2.0 to 1.6 per 10,000 inhabitants between the ages of five and 14, with 50 fewer deaths in this age group. The survival rate in the country’s neonatal care units increased from 98.5 to 98.8%.

Cuba and the main causes of infant mortality

The main causes of death in children under one year of age were associated mainly with premature birth and retarded uterine growth, while in other pediatric age groups, malignant tumors, accidents and congenital anomalies were the principal causes.

The battle against Covid-19, from the very beginning, included differentiated protocols for the treatment of pregnant women, postpartum mothers and pediatric patients, and essential services were guaranteed despite strains on the public health system, to ensure continuing attention via the Maternal-Infant Program.

(Taken from Granma)

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