Infant Mortality in Venezuela: A Humanitarian Crisis Under Way

Jenny Garcia , Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Gerardo Correa, Universidad Católica Andrés Bello
Brenda Rousset, Universidad Central de Venezuela

Since the 1950’s Venezuelan infant mortality had shown one of the most significant improvements in Latin America. Full-blown economic meltdown alongside upsurge infectious and parasitic diseases such as malaria, measles and diphtheria may be changing previous patterns. Because no official updated mortality statistics have been published since 2013, the effect of recent events has been impossible to assess accurately. We used direct and indirect methods on all available data sources (census, surveys, mortality yearbooks, vital statistics and notifiable diseases bulletins) to produce infant mortality rates (IMR) from 1985 to 2016. We shaped yearly estimations using a semi-parametric regression model. Around 2009, the long-term decline in IMR stopped and a new pattern of increase is observed. The IMR reached in 2016 (20.3 per thousand live births ) takes the country back to the IMR level observed in the end-1990s, wiping out 17 years of progress in IMR reduction.

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 Presented in Session 201. Exposure to Collective Violence/Conflict and Child/Youth Well-being: International Perspectives