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How high is infant mortality in Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS?

ALESHINA, Nadezhda
REDMOND, Gerry
November 2003

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Official statistics seem to suggest that in post-communist Europe infant mortality rates have significantly decreased through the 1990s. As infant mortality rate is a key indicator of the Millennium Development Goals, reliable measurement is crucial to assess progress. This paper argues that official counts may understate the gravity of the problem in at least 15 countries in the region. This may be due to unclear definitions of 'live birth' and 'stillbirth', misreporting of infant deaths, nonregistration of births or deaths. The paper also discusses the uncertainties associated with survey based estimates, and call for further work to be done to improve collection of data and effectiveness of surveys

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