The infant mortality rate is calculated over number of deaths per live birth of 1,000 infants. One of the biggest challenges in both the developed and developing countries in the 20th and 21st centuries has been to decrease infant mortality rates. After much hard work and undertaking huge measures, many countries have found huge reduction in the infant mortality rate but there are many other countries still in worse situation. The major reasons behind this include lack of access to funds and infrastructure, lack of medical professionals, poverty, and discrimination. In addition, there are certain diseases that infants are particularly vulnerable to, such as pneumonia, diarrhea, malnutrition, asphyxia, birth complications, and malaria.
Reasons for High Mortality Rates in Top Three Countries
The infant mortality rate is a major challenge for United Nations in the economically poor and politically weaker countries. The worst affected three countries are Afghanistan, Mali, and Somalia.
Afghanistan - 112.8 per 1,000
Afghanistan has the highest infant mortality rate in the world, with 112.8 deaths per 1,000 children 5 years old and younger. This sad reality is mainly due to sheer lack of medical facilities. This access is even worse in rural areas outside of the country's major cities. Lack of women's rights and access to healthcare for women also helps to exacerbate this problem. In addition, women often give birth at home, which means that qualified doctors are not usually present to provide medical care.
Mali - 100 per 1,000
Mali has the second highest infant mortality rate in the world, and the highest mortality rate in Africa. Lack of access to medical care for mother and baby, as well as the prevalence of diseases such as malaria are behind these high rates. Unfortunately, although many of these deadly diseases such as malaria and diarrhea are preventable, the lack of resources available in Mali mean that these diseases are not treated.
Somalia - 96.6 per 1,000
Somalia has the second highest infant mortality rate in Africa, as well as the third highest infant mortality rate in the world. Pregnant women who give birth in Somalia are at risk of not only losing their baby, but also their own life. Inadequate health infrastructure only makes the problem harder to solve.
Steps Taken By The Government And UNICEF In Controlling Infant Mortality Rates
The important point to understand before taking measure is that, these places have been affected by wars and had remained isolated from the mainstream. The unstable government and complex laws have broken the rib of the country. Moreover, poor economies have made the situation worse. UNICEF and the governments of these countries have been working together to remove misunderstandings in childbirth. There have been measures taken to reduce illiteracy, polygamy, inhumane laws, and unawareness. The government and UNICEF have setup many medical hospitals and nursing homes. The schools have also benefited children in developing their lives and careers. Although these are steps in the right direction, there are many measures still needed to be taken to reduce the infant mortality rates.
Countries With The Highest Infant Mortality Rates
|Rank||Country||Infant Mortality Rate|
|4||Central African Republic||88.4|
|12||Congo, Democratic Republic of the||69.8|
|24||Congo, Republic of the||56.4|