POPULATION HEALTH AND HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IN THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS
(Public Health of the Republic of Belarus, an official statistics collection, 2011)
Health and demographic situation
Within recent years the negative dynamics on main demographic indicators has reached a critical level posing a serious threat to the national security. In order to reverse the negative demographic trends and create preconditions for population growth, the President of Belarus passed Decree No. 357 on August 11, 2011 to adopt the National Programme of Demographic Security of the Republic of Belarus for 2011-2015.
Since 1994 the population of the country has reduced by 799 100 people and as of the beginning of 2012 it numbered 9.465.1 million.
The positive tendency to an increase in the birth rate has remained since the year 2003. In 2011 it made up 11.5 births per 1000 population (11.4- in 2010). In 2011, 109 147 babies were born in the country (108 050 - in 2010).
The death rate decreased from 14.4 per 1000 population in 2005 to 14.3 per 1000 population in 2011.
In spite of the fact that the death rate of the population of the republic has decreased by 1.4% as compared with 2005, its rate remains high in Vitebsk (16.2 per 1000 population) and Minsk (16.0 per 1000 population) regions.
An aggregate indicator of public health is life expectancy at birth. Belarus is at the very bottom of the top 100 countries in terms of life expectancy at birth. By this indicator Belarus yields to almost 100 countries and as compared with developed countries the figure is lower by 12-14 years in men and 5-6 years in women. The highest life expectancy was registered in 1964-1969 – 72.9 years. It declined in the 1990s. In 2003 the indicator made up 68.5 years. The life expectancy at birth has fallen from 77.2 years (1984-1985) to 76.7 years (2011) in women and from 68.9 years (1964-1965) to 64.7 years (2011) in men. It should be noted that in 2011, the life expectancy of men and women increased slightly as compared with 2010 and made up 70.6 years (64.7 years in men and 76.7 years in women). In 2010, the general life expectancy was 70.4 years (64.6 years in men and 76.5 years in women).
Mother and child protection remains a major priority of the healthcare system in the Republic of Belarus. Since 1995, the infant mortality decline has been observed. Since 2000, it has been under 10.0 per 1000 live births (which meets Target No. 3 of “Health for all in the 21st century” of the World Health Organization). In 2011, the figure made up 3.9 per 1000 live births, which is among the lowest in the CIS. In 2006, newborns weighing 500-999g were also included in the infant and child mortality statistics. The highest infant and perinatal mortality was registered in Gomel region (4.7 per 1000 live births) and Grodno region (4.0 per 1000 live births).
In 2011 the maternal mortality remained the same as compared with 2010: 0.9 per 100 000 live births. In 1990-2011 the maternal mortality rate decreased from 21.8 (1998) to 0.9 per 100 000 live births (2010).
Since 1999, the number of abortions declined from 67 200 to 32 000 in 2011, and fell below the number of births. However, the abortion rate still remains very high. In 2011, the number of births per 1000 women aged 15-49 was 44.8 (43.6 in 2010); while the number of abortions per 1000 women of the fertile age was 13.2 (13.5 - in 2010).