Infant mortality rate is the number of infants dying before reaching one year of age, per 1,000 live births in a given year. According to the World Factbook, China was recently ranked the 110th highest mortality rate compared to every other country in 2013. According to this study China had an average of 15 deaths for every 1,000 live births. During 1990—2008, the mortality rates in neonates, post-neonatal infants, and children were reduced by 70%. Although the infant mortality rate has dropped in China over the past few years it is still a major issue that should be addressed. The leading causes of deaths in 2008 were pneumonia, birth asphyxia, and preterm birth complications, each accounting for 15—17% of all deaths. Congenital abnormalities and accidents increased in importance during this period, contributing to 11% and 10% of child deaths, respectively, and sudden infant death syndrome was responsible for 5% of infant deaths. According to an article posted in 2010 stated “children born in rural China are three to six times more likely to die before they turn 5 than those in the cities”. Politically I believe China’s government should be most involved in solving this crisis. The Chinese government should be creating health plans that are practical for all soon to be mothers. Culturally we see that there is a difference in infant mortality rates amongst urban residents compared to those in rural areas. According to a report from the World Bank, urban residents have more access to specialty hospitals, university research centers, and more-experienced doctors, while rural citizens face subpar treatment and are often prescribed an “irrational” array of drugs.
The Chinese government stated “it has been working to address this inequity since 2003, putting in place a modest healthcare insurance system that it hopes will help the poorest meet basic medical needs”. In 2009 Beijing launched a new reform to provide a more affordable and universal healthcare. An anthropologist working in this area goes by the name of Igor Rudan identifying the leading cause of death in neonates (<1 month), post neonatal infants (1—11 months), and children (<5 years) in China. Igor and his colleges searched Chinese databases available to the public and developed a statistical model to estimate the total number of deaths in children according to provinces, age groups, and main causes. As I stated previously, his findings stated that the mortality rate has dropped a significant amount during 1990-2008. He also discovered the main causes for infant mortality, which were stated previously. His efforts prove that infant mortality in China is mainly a government health issue that needs to be confronted to a greater extent.
Burkitt, Laurie. “Report: China Sees Dramatic Drop in Infant Death”. Accessed August 9,2013. http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2011/09/19/report-china-sees-dramatic-drop-in-infant-deaths/
Lyn, Tan.“Child mortality highlights China’s urban-rural divide”. Accessed August 8,2013. http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/03/26/us-china-child-deaths-idUSTRE62P01G20100326
Rudan, Igor.” Causes of deaths in children younger than 5 years in China in 2008”. Accessed August 8,2013. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(10)60060-8/abstract
The World Factbook. “Infant Mortality Rates”. Accessed August 9, 2013. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2091rank.html