Cuba has Latin America's lowest infant mortality rate

Campaign News | Wednesday, 5 January 2005

Fewer than six deaths per thousand is island's record

HAVANA, Jan 3 - Cuba's infant mortality rate has fallen to less than six deaths per thousand babies born, the lowest in Latin America, according to government figures.

The figure of 5.8 deaths per thousand contrasts with the 37.3 per thousand infant deaths when Fidel Castro came to power in 1959, the daily newspaper Granma reported on Monday.

In the last 12 months, 127,062 births were registered on the island. Some 735 infants died largely due to perinatal infection and congenital defects, according to the report.

Cuba puts strong emphasis on health and education. Its low infant mortality rate compares to eight percent in Costa Rica and Chile, according to UNICEF figures.

Cuba is among 36 countries worldwide with the lowest infant mortality rate, "despite being blockaded for more than four decades by the world's most powerful country," Granma said.

The US infant death rate is seven per thousand.

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