The term used to determine the rate at which children aged one year and below die is known as the infant mortality rate (IMR). IMR measures the number of deaths out of the given 1,000 live births. Such deaths occur due to factors such as premature births, neonatal infection, pneumonia, and malaria among others.
Countries With Lowest Infant Mortality Rates
The number of infants who succumb to deaths varies from one country to another with some nations recording very alarming rates of child deaths whereas others recording near zero child deaths. Records indicate that Japan is the leading global nation recording least infant deaths. Iceland, Singapore, and Finland also have low rates and are ranked second to fourth respectively. The other countries which experience low infant deaths are Estonia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Belarus, South Korea, and Norway.
Japan has the lowest risk of new-born mortality with a rate of 0.9. The country has seen a significant reduction in infant deaths and records indicate that in 1967, infant mortality was as high as 16.2 out of 1,000 live births. Japan is followed by Iceland in the second position. Here, the infant mortality rate is just 1.0. Singapore’s IMR of 1.1 is the third lowest globally. Finland concludes the top four list and the infant mortality rate here is 1.2.
The fifth country worldwide with the lowest infant mortality rate is Estonia with a rate of merely 1.3. Such a figure is negligible and is a clear indication that many children who are born have a great chance of surviving. In Slovenia, also 1.3 deaths out of 1,000 live births occur thus making it the sixth country with low child mortality. Slovenia comes closely in the seventh position with a rate of 1.4 infant deaths arising out of 1,000 infants born alive.
In Belarus, only 1.5 deaths out of one thousand live births are recorded. This figure puts it in position eight in the world. The other countries which record the same infant mortality rate of 1.5 are South Korea and Norway and are ninth and tenth respectively. Infant mortality rates have been keenly considered all over the world, and the records have indicated significant reductions.
Factors Influencing Low Infant Mortality Rates
Many countries in the world are experiencing a significant reduction in infant deaths. The reduction results from many factors, notably, medical services have helped in preventing further loss of lives in children. Medical personnel has been trained while making facilities more accessible to pregnant and nursing mothers. Through vaccinations, diseases such as polio and diarrhoea have been curbed. Besides, there has been a rise in many medical professionals; Japan, for example, has 131 medical professionals per 10,000 people.
Furthermore, the United Nations (UN) through the World Health Organization (WHO) has come up with means of reducing child deaths. The WHO has introduced Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the mission of bringing down infant death menace. The organization also calls on member countries to provide health services to the people to eradicate communicable diseases.