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INFANT MORTALITY IN MALTA AMONGST THE LOWEST - 7/10/2005

INFANT MORTALITY IN MALTA AMONGST THE LOWEST


The World Health Organisation (WHO) regularly publishes statistics which can be used as a benchmark of the quality of health care in a country. Infant mortality is used to compare the health and well-being of populations across and within countries. The infant mortality rate is the rate at which babies less than one year of age die. The trend across the world is for this to steadily decline.

Recent data from WHO shows a very low post-neonatal infant mortality in Malta. In fact it is better than of any other European Union nation. The Central Intelligence Agency World Fact book lists Malta’s statistic as the eight in the World, bettered only by Singapore, Sweden, Hong Kong, Japan, Iceland, Finland and Norway in that order. Official statistics also show that infant mortality has been steadily decreasing over the years. The child mortality is also very low at around 6/1000.

This is a remarkable achievement that Malta should be proud of, especially when one considers that these are much richer countries that invest much more money into their health care system. One must note that these figures are even better than they appear at first glance. In Malta therapeutic abortion (termination of pregnancies with malformed babies) is not practiced. Indeed most of neonatal deaths in Malta occur in severely malformed babies, most of whom would have been aborted in other countries and they would not have been included in infant mortality statistics.

These results are a tribute to the dedication and expertise of family doctors and doctors working in the specialty of paediatrics.



 
 
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