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Central America Cuba's infant mortality rate drops to record low

CUBA’S infant mortality dropped to a record low rate of 4.1 per 1,000 births in 2017, the health ministry announced on Thursday.

“This is a milestone that reflects the integration of the entire healthcare system in the country, which is about lives saved, quality of life, happiness and satisfaction for our people,” Public Health Minister Roberto Morales said.

He added that the country has eliminated diseases including polio, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles, rubella and mumps among newborns. Two years ago, the World Health Organisation confirmed that Cuba was the first country to have eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

Cuba’s infant mortality rate compares favourably to Britain’s, which was estimated at 4.3 per 1,000 births in 2017, and that of the US, which averaged 5.8 in the same year according to the CIA.

This figure conceals gross inequalities, with the number of infant deaths in poor states like Mississippi more than twice that in New York and black babies twice as likely to die before their first birthday as white babies.

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