William Eichler 04 January 2019

Manchester’s infant mortality rate rises 40%

The infant mortality rate in Manchester has increased by around 40% over the last decade, according to a report by the city council.

Between 2011 and 2013 108 children died before their first birthday. By the 2015-17 period this figure had risen to 151.

David Regan, Manchester's director of population health and wellbeing, said that the council is ‘absolutely determined’ to halt the rise in infant mortality.

In 2016, the infant mortality rate was 3.8 deaths per 1,000 live births, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). In Manchester it was 6.4 deaths.

According to the ONS, infant mortality rates are highest in the West Midlands (6.0) followed by the North West (4.9). In London its 3.2.

Most deprived areas had the highest infant mortality rates in both England and Wales in 2016.

The ONS found that the infant mortality rate in the most deprived areas was 5.9 per 1,000 live births in England, whereas in the least deprived areas it was 2.6.

Mr Regan said that the city council’s new strategy will help to reduce Manchester’s infant mortality rate.

‘In partnership with all of the key agencies who are focused on supporting healthy pregnancies and the early lives of babies in Manchester, we're absolutely determined to ensure that the recent rise in infant mortality is halted,’ he said.

‘Our new long-term strategy will focus on ensuring that the best specialist knowledge is being applied to providing high quality and safe services, plus improving access to health advice and information, so that we can minimise risks for mothers and babies at all stages.’

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