In 2002, the infant mortality rate in Brazil was 25.1 deaths before the age of one year per each 1,000 births. In 2004, that number fell to 23.1. In 2002, out of each 1,000 births, a total of 16.5 babies were born dead. In 2004, that number was 15.3.
The standard set by the World Health Organization is, in both categories, 10 deaths per each 1,000 births.
As for maternal mortality rates, in 2004 there were 74.5 deaths per each 1,000 births. The World Health Organization standard is between six and twenty.
In announcing the latest numbers this week, the government attributed the improvement to its National Pact for Reduction of Maternal and Neonatal Mortality Rates which was implanted two years ago.
The program has received praise from the UN as a model for dealing with the problem. The short-term goal of the pact is reduce the mortality rates by 15% by the end of this year.
The pact has organized local committees to work on the problem of maternal and infant mortality, the training of healthcare providers and the creation of human milk banks.
The coordinator of the National Pact for Reduction of Maternal and Neonatal Mortality Rates, Adson França, says there is reason to commemorate the latest figures released by the government.
He says that if the downward trend continues, Brazil will achieve the Millennium Goal of reducing maternal and infant mortality rates by 75% by the year 2015.
The latest report on maternal and infant mortality in Brazil shows that the country’s short-term goal of reducing the rates by 15% by the end of 2006 are on track.