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Ivory Coast says its mortality rate has reduced in half in past 20 years

Ivory Coast’s Development and plan minister Niale Kaba speaks during a visit to a water tower in the Yopougon suburbs of Abidjan

PARIS––Ivory Coast’ s planning and development ministry maintains that the West African nation’s infant mortality rate has drastically reduced in the past 20 years.

In a remark by the country’s planning and development minister on Monday, the Ivory Coast boosts that its infant mortality has halved in 20 years, implying better and more accessible health care coverage.

Minister Niale Kaba said the probability of an infant dying before turning age one has dropped from 112 for every 1,000 births in 1998 to 60 per 1,000 in 2016.

“The mortality rate for under-fives also fell from 125 per 1,000 to 96 per 1,000 during the same period,” Kaba said.

Minister Kaba maintained that “These key results show an increasing improvement in several social indicators related to access to health care, education, and treatment for ailing children and women.”

However contrary to Minister Kaba’s report, the UN children’s agency, UNICEF, in its recent report regarding neonatal deaths rates, singled out Ivory Coast as one of the countries that had one of the world’s highest rates in 2016 with one baby in 27 dying in the first month of life.

The corresponding rate for Japan in the same period was one out of 1,000.

Health care analysts ponder whether the analysis provided by the Ivorian ministry of planning and development is accurate in view of the recent UNICEF’s reports.

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Michael Harrington

Michael Harrington is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.
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