Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Study: Infant mortality drops in LatAm

Infant mortality rats have fallen worldwide and Latin America is no exception according to data analyzed by the Institute for Health Metrics (IHM).

The IHM study- which was published this week- concluded that Brazil’s mortality rate plummeted from 52 deaths per thousand in 1990 to nearly twenty deaths per thousand this year. Along with Mexico, Brazil could meet one of the U.N.'s Millennium Goals: reducing the infant mortality rate by two thirds by 2015. In addition, other countries such as Peru, Paraguay, and Nicaragua have infant mortality rates between 20 to 39 per thousand.

The infant mortality rate in the U.S. has fallen as well (6.7 per 1000 in 2010) yet ranks lower than Chile and Cuba as well as other developed countries in Europe. The results may be interpreted as a strong indictment of the current health care system:
"There are an awful lot of people who think we have the best medical system in the world," said Dr. Christopher Murray, who directs the institute and is an author of the study. "The data is so contrary to that”…

The U.S. mortality rates defy traditional explanations, such as a nation's diversity, high number of immigrants and persistent pockets of poverty, Murray said…

Murray said high child mortality rates were not limited to black and Latino populations in the U.S. In fact, researchers have found high rates among higher-income whites, a group that traditionally has better access to medical care.
Image- AFP
Online Sources- Health Leaders Media, Los Angeles Times, Institute for Health Metrics, Xinhua

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