Havana, Jan 3.- Cuba ended 2011 with an infant mortality rate of 4.9 per thousand live births and seven provinces reported figures below the national average, according to the Ministry of Public Health.
For the past four years, Cuba tops the list of countries on the continent with less than five percent infant mortality, the same as Canada, Granma daily published today.
In 2008 the figures reached 4.7, in 2009, 4.8 and in 2010 infant mortality registered 4.5.
With 5, 317 more births compared with the previous year, the province with the lowest rate was Las Tunas, with 3.5. Other provinces with below average rates were Artemisa (3.9), Pinar del Rio and Holguin, (4.0), Havana, (4.3) and Ciego de Avila and Granma (4.4)
The newspaper also notes that 17 municipalities were able to register zero infant mortality, most of them in the eastern provinces.
Among the factors contributing to these results are the will and policy decisions of government, a high level of education of the population and a comprehensive vaccination program, with one hundred percent coverage of children.
Added to this is the health care system that is accessible and free for all, the scientific-technical qualification of workers and a comprehensive maternal and child care program. (Prensa Latina)