Births in Jamaica Decline By 28 Percent in 2016 – Health Ministry
According to the Ministry of Health, in 2016, births in Jamaica declined by 28 percent when compared to 2015.
The reduction in births is being attributed to the recommendation (which has now been lifted) for women to put off becoming pregnant amid threats posed by the Zika virus which has been linked to the birth defect microcephaly.
While speaking with RJR, National Epidemiologist Dr. Karen Webster Kerr, stated:
“Over the year, there has been a dramatic decline in the number of cases of Zika virus. So while we have not extended the advisory, pregnant women are advised to protect themselves against mosquitos because the Zika virus is still circulating in Jamaica, although it’s at a much lower level.”
Data from the Health Ministry reveal that the highest number of births last year took place at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital, followed by Spanish Town Hospital and Mandeville Regional Hospital.
The Lionel Town and Linstead hospitals reportedly had the lowest birth rates.
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