The under-five mortality rate is among the global indices to measure the health condition in countries, said a deputy head of State Welfare Organization of Iran (SWOI), adding as per the index Iran has the lowest mortality rate for children in the region.
Minou Rafi’ei, SWOI’s deputy head for preventing disabilities, told Iran Daily that Iran has put in a brilliant performance in reducing mortality rate for children and has taken extensive measures in the fields of vaccinating children and controlling infectious diseases in them.
She put the under-five mortality rate in Iran at 16 in 1,000 children, noting that this comes as in countries where the spread of infectious diseases has not been controlled well, the figure stands at 35 in every 1,000 children which is quite high.
The under-five mortality rate in certain states, including Canada, has reached between five and 10 in every 1,000 children, Rafi’ei said.
Commenting on figures pertaining to the spread of genetic diseases in Iran, she noted that, “In case we want to further lower the under-five mortality rate in the country, we are required to reduce the number of fatalities caused by genetic diseases in children.”
She said currently, 30,000 infants are born each year in the country with certain degrees of visible genetic disorders.
“This comes as a large number of genetic disorders begin to develop or show their symptoms at the ages of 8, 15 and 40, which are not included in these statistics.”
Stressing the importance of having genetic consultation prior to conceiving babies and during pregnancy, she said this will help prevent the birth of children with severe disabilities.
“At present, 274 genetic consultation and testing centers are operating in Iran. In the year to March 2018, a total of 1,480 legal abortions were carried out across the country in these centers to prevent the birth of children with severe genetic disorders.”
She said taking care of these patients is highly costly, adding their treatment processes and drugs are quite expensive.
In addition, Rafi’ei said, psychologically speaking, the families of these patients normally bear an enormous emotional burden leading to a large number of divorces.
Stressing that prevention in these cases is much more economical than treatment, she, once again, urged for having pre-pregnancy genetic consultations.
Rafi’ei listed cousin marriage and late pregnancy – above 35 in women and 50 in men – as the main causes of genetic disorders.
“Families with disabled members also face the risk of giving birth to babies with disabilities.”
She urged such parents to have genetic consultations before conceiving babies.
Rafi’ei said the most common genetic disorders in Iran are blindness, hearing impairment, mental retardation and neurological as well as muscle diseases.