Needlessly Repeating History

Venezuela may have lost 2 decades of progress against infant mortality. With its health system collapsing, Venezuela is now the only South American country to see infant mortality rates return to 1990s levels, according to a new report published in The Lancet Global Health.

In 2016, the country’s infant mortality rate was 21.1 deaths per 1,000 livebirths, 1.4X the rate in 2008 and equivalent to 1990s numbers, Thomson Reuters Foundation reports.

These losses are largely preventable—resulting from the Maduro regime’s incompetence and misguided policies, note Chris Beyrer and Kathleen Page of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in a companion commentary. As the Venezuelan government has continued to withhold health data, “...it is an act of civic courage on the part of the Venezuelan coauthors of this work to share their estimates and publicly challenge the government's denial of the crisis,” they write.

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