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Visualizing Infant Mortality Rate in Cuba

on Mon, 01/05/2015 - 19:16

National health authorities from the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba reports that at the end of 2014 the infant mortality rate remains at 4.2 infant deaths per thousand live births, similar to that achieved in 2013 and the lowest in its history.

Infant mortality rate is the probability of a child born in a specific year or period dying before reaching the first year of life, if subject to age-specific mortality rates of that period.

Strictly speaking, infant mortality rate is not a rate (i.e. the number of deaths divided by the number of population at risk during a certain period of time) but a probability of death derived from a life table as the ratio of number of deaths in the first year of life to the number of live births and expressed as rate per 1000 live births.

Infant mortality rate is a key public health indicator that measure infant survival and it reflects the social, economic and environmental conditions in which children, mothers and other member of a society live, including the availability, accessibility, capacity and quality of the health care system.

When reading the news jumping in mind some questions:

  1. How has been the trend over time of infant mortality in Cuba in past decades?
  2. How is distributed the infant mortality rate across Cuban provinces (first admin level)? 
  3. How unequal is the infant mortality at the sub-national level?

To answer these questions, data was extracted from a recent article published in Granma newspaper and the report Indicators of Population Health Status. Time Series Cuba 1970-2013 (only in Spanish). An interactive data visualization was designed and created. 

This blog post visualizes the trend in infant mortality in Cuba from 1970 to 2014 and provides information on their distribution by province in 2014, with the purpose to provide additional information and communicate more effectively trends and current situation of this indicator to readers.

Infant mortality rate and its components (premature neonatal, neonatal and post neonatal mortality) have consistently decreased from 1970 to 2014 reflecting specific and appropriate public health interventions at different stages of infant development.

The distribution of infant mortality rate across provinces is homogeneous, having a range of 3.2 deaths per thousand live births. All provinces have rates close to the median of 4.1 deaths and there are no outliers. This indicates a high level of equality in terms of public health interventions, health care accessibility and quality, and social determinats of health.

National health authorities have reported the following main public health interventions during 2014:

  • Efforts were made to reduce the effects of premature birth including the use of progesterone to all pregnant women at risk of preterm birth 
  • A more efficient use of beds in maternity homes
  • Enhancement of protocols for perinatology managements and additional measures were put on place to increase the survival of new born with less than 1,500 grams in neonatology services. 
  • Development of perinatal care services, pediatric and neonatal intensive care, pediatric cardiology network consolidation and improvement of neonatal surgery.

As presented in the blog post Overview of the Magnitude, Disparities and Trends of Infant Mortality Worldwide, Cuba is ranked among the top countries in this indicator worldwide. Cuba can be compared with others countries of the World using this interactive data visualization.  

Leave a comment and keep the conversation on this topic. Your thoughts are welcome and appreciated.

Related contents

A global overview of the magnitude, disparities and trend of infant mortality in the world. 1950-2011.







P.S. The visualization of this article was selected by Tableau Public as Viz of the Day on January 6th, 2015.

Tableau Public Visualization of the Day, January 6th, 2015

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