CAIRO: Egypt’s infant mortality rate decreased by approximately 4 percent between 2006 and 2007, a recent study conducted by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) showed.
The total number of deaths went down from 35,952 in 2006 to 34,612 in 2007.
According to the study, 28 out of every 1,000 children under five die.
Earlier this week, local news reports published the statistics, claiming that Egypt has the highest infant mortality rate for children under five worldwide.
However, officials at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Cairo office’s health department denied these reports, saying Egypt is far from being even among the top 10 nations with the highest mortality rate, citing other countries with an infant mortality rate of over 200 deaths per 1,000 live births.
“On the contrary we have achieved a lot in this [area] nationwide, said Dr Essam Allam of UNICEF. “People are becoming more and more aware which has brought down the rate around the country, he added.
According to the CAPMAS study which was released earlier this month, the infant mortality rate has decreased in 17 governorates around Egypt between 2006 and 2007.
These governorates are: Alexandria, Suez, Damietta, Daqahleya, Sharqeya, Qaliubiya, Kafr El-Sheikh, Gharbeya, Menufiya, Beheira, Ismailia, Giza, Fayoum, Minya, Sohag, Aswan and South Sinai.
At the same time, the number of deaths has increased in 10 governorates, which include Egypt’s capital, Cairo, where there was a rise of 5.9 percent – from 5,059 deaths in 2006 to 5,357 deaths in 2007.
The remaining governorates include Port Said, Beni Suef, Assiut, Qena, Luxor, the Red Sea, El-Wadi El-Gedid, Marsa Matruh and North Sinai.
Last month, Minister of Health Hatem El-Gabaly, said that infant mortality rate has dropped from 73 deaths per 1,000 live births to 25 deaths in the time from 1990 to 2008, which counts for 66 percent.
Regarding infants under five years old, the rate decreased from 104 deaths per 1,000 births to 28, or a 73 percent decrease. He described the rates as a “great achievement.