Among the world’s Portuguese-language countries, Cape Verde comes after Portugal, with four deaths for every one thousand live births, and Brazil, with 14. Immediately after Cape Verde comes São Tomé and Príncipe, with 51, East Timor, with 55, Mozambique, with 87, Equatorial Guinea (officially a member of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the CPLP, since July of this year, despite the fact that it is a Spanish-speaking country), with 96, and Guinea Bissau, with 124. Angola, with 167 deaths for every one thousand live births, has the highest infant mortality rate of the world’s lusophone nations.
Between 1990 and 2013, the UN study highlights the fact that Cape Verde managed to reduce its infant mortality rate by 3.8% and is one of the countries closest to meeting the fourth Millennium Development Goal. In other words, the 26/1000 infant mortality rate seen in 2013 is expected to fall to 21 by 2015.
Angola is far from reaching the MDG for infant mortality – the country would have to reduce its rate from the current 167/1000 to 75 by next year. Brazil and East Timor have both managed to achieve the goal, with 14 and 55, respectively.
The document indicates that “child survival rates improved substantially between 1990 and the present, a period during which the absolute number of deaths of children under five dropped by half – from 12.7 million to 6.3 million.” This is also the case in Cape Verde, where in the 1990s the mortality rate among children under five was 58 per 1,000 live births, and now hovers near 26.
Even so, the report stresses that “many of the deaths registered throughout the world could have been avoided with simple, effective and low-cost interventions before, during and immediately after birth.”