Infant Mortality – We’re 40th out of 180

via U.S. newborn death rate higher than in 40 other nations –

Published on Tuesday in the journal PLoS Medicine, the study shows that babies under 4 weeks old account for 41 percent of child deaths worldwide.

Although the article doesn’t discuss reasons that the US rate is higher, it does say

“It’s not that things are worse in the United States than before, it’s that the U.S. isn’t making progress like other countries,” Lawn said.

Because of improvements in infant care in some countries, newborns in Qatar, Croatia and the United Arab Emirates now die at about the same rate as those in the United States, the figures show.

In 1990 the United States had the 28th lowest risk.

The leading causes of infant death are preterm delivery, asphyxia, and severe infections.  Developing nations have been able to provide better prenatal care, and thus have increased the survival rate of infants.  But according to the article, African nations still have a ways to go:

“Training more midwives and other community health workers could save the lives of many more babies,” she said. “We know that solutions as simple as keeping newborns warm, clean and properly breast-fed can keep them alive.”

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