Infant Mortality in Africa and America
Infant mortality refers to the deaths that occur during infancy and especially in the first year of life. Infant mortality rate varies from one continent to another. In essence, infant mortality rate is the widely used health status of a country and it is helpful when it comes to international comparisons. Africa and America are two widely known continents that have high infant mortality rates and there are few similarities and differences that come up when looking at this issue.
Globally, infant mortality rate has declined between 1960 and 2001 in both less developed countries [LDCs] and more in developed countries MDCs]. In both Africa and America, this has been possible due to the health and mortality reduction initiatives in each continent. In 2008, America ranked 29th globally in infant mortality according to CDC reports. The report further stated that nearly seven babies in U.S die out of 1000 live births and this is more than 28, 000 American babies who die before their first birthday. When it comes to Africa, a report by WHO showed that 63 per 1000 live births occurred in many parts of Africa. This rate was six times higher than in the American regions.
Globally, the infant mortality rate has decreased from an estimated rate of 63 deaths per 1000 live births in 1990 to 35 deaths per 1000 live births in 2012. In the case of American, birth defects and low birth weight were cited as the leading causes of increased infant mortality. This was a survey conducted by National Center for Health Statistics. Babies born to teenage mothers were the most likely to weight too little as report said.
In the United States for instance, an infant is counted if she or he exhibits any sign of life as alive regardless of the month of gestation. It also differs when it comes to African. The American rates of infant mortality were due to high rates of premature babies as compared to other European countries. Other factors that were termed to lead to high rates of infant mortality included obesity or poor prenatal care.
In the case of Africa, infant mortality is inversely related to war, corruption in health related institutions and political unrest. In most cases, war has been the key cause of increased infant mortality in Africa. A war that takes place where a woman is planning to have a baby is quite stressful. Such a case does not affect the woman, but also the fetus. Countries such as Somalia, Angola, and democratic republic of Congo have all reported high cases of infant mortality.
The good news in both infant mortality cases in Africa and America [South and North America] every nation is trying hard to reduce the infant mortality rate. The establishment of the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs] is one of the great initiatives aimed towards reducing infant mortality. Unfortunately, Africa is not likely to meet the goals by 2015. WHO is also focused on reducing the effects of malaria, HIV/AIDS and provide family planning solutions.
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