Cuba registered some 20,500 fewer births by 2023 than happened at the same time last year, according to official reports.
In the middle of fashion population agingthe country reports a decrease in births of around 75,000 compared to 95,500 in 2022according to the data provided by dr. Reinol Delfín García MoreiroDeputy Minister of Public Health for Medical Assistance, in the official television program Round table.
“This year we have no less than 90,000 births,” he assured. “And the population transition that began in 1978 was affected, and continues to be complicated.”
The official explained that the infant mortality rate has decreased slightly compared to last year and is now at the same level 7.3, which represents 55 fewer children born and died.
The dramatic reduction in the number of births in Cuba also has a decisive weight in the reduction of mortality among children, historically exalted by the regime as a social achievement.
The Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) estimates that this year will close with an infant mortality rate of around 7according to Garcia.
However, the number of stillbirths is still high compared to the low rate recorded by the government in previous years, which the vice minister acknowledged in his appearance.
“We all know that we have rates of 4, however, in 2019 it increased to 5. With the COVID and all its effects, we closed the rate of 7.6 in 2022, which is still the best in America Latina,” he assured. “At the end of 2022 we were able to stop the deterioration and the rate fell to 7.5, and this year it is 7.3. That means 55 fewer stillbirths, with a lower birth rate (8.6).
The official compared the current birth rate and population aging in the 70s of the last century. The current birth rate is 8.6, while it was 30 in 1970, numbers that match the aging rate of 9 at that time and 22.6 today, with a forecast of 30% of the older adult population, in that is, over 60 years old. .
Regarding maternal deaths, García said that due to COVID-19 the rate reached 176. “We managed to have rates between 30 and 40 deaths per 100,000 women. Now we are at 35, the fourth best rate all-time in the country,” he said.
According to the official MINSAP graphs presented during the program, the exact rate in 2021 was 176.6, it decreased to 40.9 in 2022 and in the first nine months of this year it was 35.5.
The Vice Minister of Public Health insisted that the country is in a position to continue reducing the rate of maternal and child mortality.
According to García, a series of measures were taken for “the reorganization of services, the reorganization of human resources and the efficient and optimal use of medicines and materials supplies in a priority and different way.”
He assured that “most of the drugs and supplies that will not disappear are funded,” although they have “an important group of deficiencies.”
Despite the optimism of the country’s health authorities, events are often reported that show negligence on the part of health personnel and show the impact of the crisis on the country’s health system.
At the beginning of the year, alarms broke out in Cuba after the death of eight newborns at the Diez de Octubre Gynecobstetric Hospital, in Havana. Weeks later, that was reported to the authorities A total of 10 children died, six of them due to an infectious outbreak in the hospital..
In April of this year, a mother who lives in Bayamo, Granma province, reported the death of her baby in a hospital in Holguínjust two days after what she described as a “traumatic birth,” and after a chain of unfortunate events that led to her son’s death from respiratory arrest. Similar complaints other mothers do on social networks.
However, just four days ago, A Cuban woman gave birth at the entrance of the Enrique Cabrera Cossío Hospital (National), in the town of Boyeros, in Havana, and the medical personnel delivered there. Happily, the baby and mother are in good health.