Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Parkdale Liberation Front Presents: Infant Mortality Rates: Running the Numbers

Infant Mortality Rates: Running the Numbers

The World Health Organization on Infant Mortality

Neonatal deaths account for a large proportion of child deaths. Mortality during the neonatal period is considered a good indicator of both maternal and newborn health and care.

(The Infant Mortality rate is the) number of deaths during the first 28 completed days of life per 1,000 live births in a given year or period.

Singapore:                                                       2.6

Canada            :                                               5.3

Native Canadians:                                      x  3 Canadian mean

Cuba:                                                               6.95

The United States of America:                          7.07

African Americans:                                    x  2.4 American mean

Mexico:                                                         21.62

China:                                                            24.63

Iraq:                                                               36.91

Iraq prior to invasion:                                      38.06

Sierra Leone:                                                134.57

Afghanistan:                                                  144.01

Afghanistan prior to invasion:                         152.35

Isn’t Singapore the place where they throw you in jail if you flick your cigarette butt on the pavement?

Why, in one of the richest countries in the world, do First Nations children die at three times the rate of the rest of us?

Is it better to be a descendant of a slave or to live in Africa?

Why are African American children dying at over twice the rate of the rest of their countrymen?

What is Iraq doing that Afghanistan isn’t?

Why after over a decade of occupation have the IMRs of both Iraq and Afghanistan essentially remained static or why has democracy failed to produce appreciably better results than two hard core dictatorships?

When you are choosing a vacation destination what is your IMR threshold? Cuba or Mexico; a Communist dictatorship or a Democracy?

Clearly Native Canadians and African Americans are better off than the majority of people on the planet.

Why does the PLF get the impression that overall it sure is helpful from a health standpoint to be born white?

Numbers can be made to say anything. 

For instance take the number 15,000.000. Listen to what this number has been made to say by the United Nations:

Overall, there are currently 15 million people facing food insecurity in the Sahel, which stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea and of which Niger is a part of. The two officials warned that the West African country is facing a “deepening humanitarian crisis,” owing to the impact of a quick succession of droughts, abnormally high food prices and the failure of crops.

How about this number: 11. Now that looks to us at PLF as a pretty benign number. It certainly doesn’t have the connotation of a 666. Here’s what Global Voices has made the number 11 to say:

Suicide rates have declined in Canada through the years but not in Aboriginal communities, though there is great variation among communities. Suicide rates are five to seven times higher for First Nations youth than for non-Aboriginal youth, and rates among Inuit youth are among the highest in the world, at 11 times the national average. Some speculate that the problem is actually worse, as stats don't usually include all Aboriginal groups.

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