Scenes like that continue to play out across this crisis-hit country on a daily basis. In the first five months of this year—the latest period for which government statistics are available—4,074 babies in Venezuela died before reaching a year, up 18.5% from the period last year and more than 50% from that period of 2012.
Infant mortality is rising fast here, at a time when it is falling in almost every other part of the world, in one of the most alarming signals that Venezuela’s social and state structures are unraveling.
Venezuela’s overall infant mortality rate—defined as deaths within the first year of life—is currently 18.6 per 1,000 live births, according to the most recent government statistics. That is well beyond the upper range of 15.4 Unicef estimates for war-torn Syria.
Infant deaths in Venezuela remain significantly rarer than in the world’s most impoverished countries like South Sudan and Congo, but they are rising fast, while rates in those poorer countries have been falling …. http://www.wsj.com