Havana, Cuba - Cuba ended 2013 with an infant mortality rate of 4.2 per 1000 live births, the lowest level in the socialist island's history. Cuba’s infant mortality rate was significantly better than neighboring Caribbean and Latin American countries and even better than the U.S. infant mortality rate, which was estimated at 5.2 for 2013.
Infant mortality rate is considered one of the key indicators of health in a society. A lower rate is better, meaning fewer babies die before reaching one year of age. The rates are directly affected by the quality of prenatal and postnatal care that mothers and their babies receive.
Other Third World countries near Cuba had estimated 2013 infant mortality rates exponentially higher than Cuba: Haiti’s rate was 50.92, Dominican Republic’s rate was 11.99, Jamaica’s rate was 13.98 and Mexico’s rate was 16.26. The difference between those numbers and Cuba's infant mortality rate of 4.2 can only be explained by socialist Cuba’s free, universal public health care system.
Cuba’s health system is the envy of the world. Despite being a poor country under a decades-long blockade by the U.S. government, the Caribbean island country’s population’s health rivals and even bests the richest capitalist countries in the world, and is light years ahead of other poor countries. Cuba continues to show ongoing health improvements among the population because their health system implements the socialist value of putting the wellbeing of the people first, rather than aiming to making profits off of health care.