In 2022, the United States saw a notable increase in infant mortality rates for the first time in over two decades, highlighting the deterioration in living standards and exclusion from healthcare services in the world’s leading capitalist economy.
As per the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) report, the overall infant mortality rate surged by 3% in 2022 compared to the previous year, while the post-neonatal mortality rate, concerning infants surviving beyond 28 days, escalated by 4%. Tragic causes such as premature birth and bacterial sepsis contributed to an 8% and 14% rise in infant deaths, respectively.
Even the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics expressed shock at the disturbingly high infant mortality rates, deeming them unacceptable for a country with considerable resources. For public health experts, infant mortality rates are a critical gauge for the broader health system. The escalation in infant mortality in 2022 signals the rotten state of US healthcare, urging close attention to subsequent data.
In 2021, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analysis showed a stable overall number of infant deaths but revealed the rate’s uptick in 2022 to 5.60 deaths per 1,000 births, marking 20,538 infant deaths. The increase is most pronounced for new mothers aged 25-29, premature babies, male infants, and those born in specific states like Georgia, Iowa, Missouri, and Texas.
Horrifically, infant mortality rates rose by over 20% for infants of American Indian or Alaska Native women, while rates for white women also exhibited a 3% increase. Although the rates for black women did not surge significantly, they remained the highest at nearly 11 deaths per 1,000 births. In the world’s so-called “freest country,” people in poverty or at the poverty line, as well as working sectors of racial and ethnic groups, are excluded from accessing necessary medical treatments.
Health is a social right that the government should provide equally, free of charge, to everyone based on their needs. It’s the responsibility of the state, devoid of business involvement. However, the anti-popular measures taken by past and present governments view health as an investment and a commodity. This paradigm can only be overthrown by a complete rupture with the capitalist system in favor of socialism-communism, through which we can build a fully staffed and technologically equipped public system, employing well-paid staff and maintaining working conditions that prioritize the health and safety of patients and employees.