Child health in Cuba

Type Journal Article - Archives of disease in childhood
Title Child health in Cuba
Volume 93
Issue 11
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2008
Page numbers 991
It is widely recognised that healthcare in Cuba is at a high level and that child health, in particular, is excellent. 1 This is illustrated by data from the World Health Organization (WHO) in its report World Health Statistics 2007 2 and UNICEF in its report The State of the World’s Children 2008. 3 Table 1 shows mortality rates for neonates, infants and children under the age of 5 (U5MR) for Cuba and three of its nearest neighbours, who all have a higher standard of living, as well as showing the United Kingdom and the United States. The U5MR is considered by UNICEF as the single most important indicator of the state of a nation’s children. 3 It is used as a marker of whether countries are successfully reducing child mortality.\nView this table:\n\n * In this window\n * In a new window\n\nTable 1 Mortality rates, income and government expenditure (data from WHO2 and UNICEF3)\n\nCuba has both the lowest U5MR and the greatest reduction in U5MR (between 1990 and 2003) in Latin America and the Caribbean. 4 The U5MR in Cuba is considerably lower than that of wealthier neighbouring countries and in between that of the U5MR of the United Kingdom and the United States. The United Kingdom and the United States are in the top 10 richest countries in the world, whereas Cuba is ranked as the 120th wealthiest country. At a time when many countries are following the American model of privatising health care, it is useful to look at how Cuba has managed to reduce its mortality rates for children with a free publically funded healthcare system

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