Romania’s infant mortality almost twice the EU average. Lack of medical equipment in rural areas, unmonitored pregnancies to blame

Foto: INQUAM/Virgil Simionescu

Romania had the highest rate of infant mortality rates in the EU with 6 deaths per 1,000 live births, according to European statistics released Monday.

Neighboring Bulgaria also scored badly with 5.8 deaths and Malta 5.6 had deaths per 1,000 births in 2018, Eurostat said.

At the other end of the scale was Estonia with 1.6 deaths and Slovenia  which had 1.7 deaths.

Even if Romania ranks last, the county has made great progress in combating  infant mortality which stood at 20.5 deaths to 1,000 live births in 1998. Romania joined the European Union in 2007.

Infant mortality is caused by a lack of good medical equipment in rural areas and a lack of monitoring during pregnancy. Both can lead to birth defects and preterm birth and low birth weight.

Adolescent mothers, who present a higher combination of factors deemed hazardous to the child’s health also leads to higher infant mortality. Mothers older than 35 have a higher occurrence of hypertension during pregnancy and congenital anomalies prevailed in the group of older mothers.

Infant mortality is the death of young children under the age of 1. This death toll is measured by the infant mortality rate, which is the number of deaths of children under one year of age per 1,000 live births.

In 2018,  some 14,600 children died in the Eu before their first birthday. This is equivalent to an infant mortality rate of 3.4 deaths per 1,000 live births, Eurostat data showed.

From 2008 to 2018, the infant mortality across the 27-member bloc fell from 4.2 deaths per 1,000 live births to 3.4 deaths.

Extending the analysis to the last 20 years, the infant mortality rate was almost halved. It was 6.6 deaths per 1, 000 in 1998.


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