Cuba ended 2013 with an infant mortality rate of 4.2 per 1,000 live births, the lowest level in the island’s history, state media reported Thursday.
The Caribbean nation first achieved an infant mortality rate of less than 5.0 in 2008, when the rate was 4.7 per 1,000 live births.
Cuba has registered infant mortality rates of 4.8 per 1,000 live births in 2009; 4.5 per 1,000 live births in 2010; 4.9 per 1,000 live births in 2011; and 4.6 per 1,000 live births in 2012.
The island’s infant mortality rate ranks it “among the leading nations in the world with the lowest rates,” the daily Granma reported.
The health indicator allows a nation to measure “the quality with which a society treats and protects its children, their health and welfare,” the newspaper said.
Eight of Cuba’s 15 provinces achieved infant mortality rates below the national level of 4.2 per 1,000 live births in 2013, when the island registered 125,830 births, or 156 more than in 2012.
A total of 26 maternal deaths were directly linked to pregnancy, birth and the post-partum period in 2013, resulting in a rate of 20.7 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, the lowest level in the island’s history.