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factors contributing to the rising infant mortality rate and potential remedies

The famous organization working for the cause of children has estimated that over one million infants die on their first day of life thus making it the most dangerous day for infants in almost every country. The infant mortality rate is a vital indicator of the state of health in any community. Its significance is evident from several points; it can show the overall status of the health services in a community. It represents the state of health facilities for pregnant mothers and infants. It also represents the state of financial resources allocated for parents and child health in a community. It can also work as an indicator of the level of development; it is also included in the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations. Infant mortality may be described as the rate that represents the deaths of infants younger than one year. It is computed by dividing the total number of infant deaths each year by the total number of live births (Osterman, Kochanek, MacDorman, Strobino, & Guyer, 2015).

In the last few years, the situation of infant mortality has improved, the infant death rate was six infant deaths per one thousand live births in the year 2015, down approximately thirteen percent from the year 2005. The age-adjusted mortality rate in 2013 was 7.3 deaths per one thousand population; it was almost the same in 2012.  According to the experts, the three leading health problems in children are birth defects, mental health problems, and obesity (“Infant Mortality, Maternal, and Infant Health, Reproductive Health, CDC”, 2016). Birth defects are costly, common, and critical disorders that affect one out of thirty-three babies born in the USA in a year.  Infants in multi-gestation pregnancies are much more likely to be born earlier and smaller than in singleton pregnancies. Such infants are more likely to have birth defects. Multi-gestation pregnancies also result in low birth weight (LBW) which is a danger sign and may lead to infant mortality in some cases.

According to experts, the second main issue of infants is mental health, it refers to a situation in which a child is born with an underdeveloped brain or develops mental health problems in the early years of life. This premature birth increases the risk of mental health problems. The figures show that in the year 2014 premature birth affected about one percent of the children born in the USA. The last weeks of pregnancy are vital as the baby’s mind grows, and some essential functions are performed in the womb. If a baby is born early, besides the risk of early death, he or she faces the risks of underdevelopment of the brain, vision issues, and hearing problems.

There is a marked difference between the roles of a community health nurse and the nurse in the acute care setting; the community health nurse works in a much wider environment of child health and has a much larger scope of work (Neufer, 1994). The community health nurse works not only to provide medical and paramedical health care services but also to educate a wider community about health and its issues. On the other hand, the nurse in the acute care setting works in hospitals and medical facilities, he or she works with a relatively limited number of people. The community health nurse has to travel a lot as his or her service area is wide.

It may be concluded that the global community has to work a lot to improve infant health. The goal should be to reduce infant mortality further and improve mothers’ health. Community and private health organizations should join hands with governments around the globe to safeguard the health of children.


Infant Mortality | Maternal and Infant Health | Reproductive Health | CDC. (2016). Retrieved 23 July 2016, from

Neufer, L. (1994). The Role of the Community Health Nurse in Environmental Health.Public Health Nursing11(3), 155-162.

Osterman, M., Kochanek, K., MacDorman, M., Strobino, D., & Guyer, B. (2015). Annual Summary of Vital Statistics: 2012-2013. PEDIATRICS135(6), 1115-1125.



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