In Albania, fewer babies are being born, yet infant mortality remains alarmingly high. According to data from the Institute of Statistics, 281 children died before reaching the age of one last year, bringing the total number of children who died before reaching the age of one to 1871 over the last seven years.
In other words, for every 1,000 births in the country, 10 babies die, a ratio that varies and grows from year to year.
Male babies are more likely to die before reaching the age of one year. But, what are the most common causes of infant death?
“It depends on the mother’s age, treatment, nutrition, nicotine and alcohol intake, all of which contribute to premature birth,” explains Entela Rexhepi, a gynecologist.
More babies die in Albania than in any other country in the region. In fact, the country has the continent’s highest infant mortality rate. The average infant mortality rate in the European Union is 3.4 deaths per 1,000 births, which is three times lower than in Albania.
One of the most important measures of health-care quality and the country’s economic and social position is infant mortality.