The study reveals that ten infants less died in 2009 over 2008, giving Costa Rica the lowest infant mortality rate in the last 59 years.
Figures from the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INEC) – census and statistics board - reveal that in 2009 there were 75.000 live births and only 663 deaths.
The reduction is being attributed to the purchase and use of special equipment in prenatal care, in addition to better trained medical personnel, especially in the care of premature babies.
The ministra de Salud, María Luisa Ávila, highlighted the positive impact of universal health care for pregnant women with good prenatal care.
Another encouraging factor is that 97 percent of births in the country now take place in hospitals. This allows for better attention of the mother and the newborn.
The ministra said that as part of the program they have been educating pregnant women to get more prenatal care, controlling pregnancies and promoting breast feeding and the immediate contact between mother and newborn.
The vice-ministra de Salud, Ana Morice, emphasized that there was also a reduction of deaths from communicable diseases like respiratory infections, diarrhea and meningitis.
Morice said that the reduction was due to vaccinations.
The infant mortality rate largely reflects the living conditions of the population and its stability is subject to the variability of various social factors.
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