Cuba closed 2014 with an infant mortality rate of 4.2 percent per thousand live births, same figure achieved at the end of 2013 and so far the lowest in its history. Thus it is among the first nations with the lowest indicator, Granma newspaper reports.
The note adds that the provinces of Cienfuegos, Pinar del Rio and Villa Clara reported the lowest rates with 3.0; 3.1 and 3.2, respectively.
Meanwhile, those of Santiago de Cuba, Havana, Holguin, Sancti Spiritus, Guantanamo and the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud remain below the national average.
The difference between the infant mortality rate in the country and the municipalities at the Turquino Plan (rural and remote areas) is only of 0.6 and expresses the uniformity of actions undertaken by the Mother and Child Programme and the Family Doctor and Nurse Programme.
Dr. Roberto Alvarez Fumero, a specialist in pediatrics and head of the Department of Maternal and Child Program at the Ministry of Public Health, said that 2014 was a year in which efforts were made to reduce the effects of prematurity, and the use of progesterone became widespread to all pregnant women at risk of preterm delivery.
He added that birth defects and genetic diseases accounted for 21% of all deaths and the country is ratified between those with the lowest infant mortality by this cause in the world.
"When compared with more developed countries and with this indicator below four per thousand live births, a significant difference can be seen if considering that in those nations, congenital malformations account for 40% of death causes in children under one year, "he told Granma.
This is a result of the priority the Cuban health system grants to the program of diagnosis, management and prevention of birth defects and genetic diseases, which has its main strength in the presence of genetic counselors in primary health care, as part of a network that reaches all three levels of health care.
According to preliminary data provided by the National Board of Medical Statistics and Records of the Ministry of Health, preschooler deaths (children aged from one to four years old) decrease in 12 compared to 2013 and the main causes are unintentional injuries, malignant tumors, acute respiratory infections and congenital anomalies. Its mortality rate is reduced from 4.1 to 3.8 per 10 000 inhabitants in that age group.
The country improves maternal mortality rate of 38.9 in 2013 to 35.1 per 100,000 live births and for the third consecutive year there were only 27 women deaths directly related to pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period as result of sustainability of the work in that program. The provinces of Mayabeque and the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud recorded no maternal deaths.
According to Dr. Alvarez Fumero, consolidating the results show the impact of the changes made by the health system, highlighting the reorganization and recovery of the founding principles of primary health care. / Source: ACN.