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World Dev Forum. 1988 Aug 31;6(15):2.

Egypt's falling IMR.

[No authors listed]



In Egypt, the infant mortality rate (IMR) has been reduced from 120/1000 live births in 1979 to 55/1000 births in 1988. This is one of the fastest declines of a country's IMR on record. A government commitment to increase per capita GNP and to meet the health and welfare needs of the people contributed to decline in the IMR. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Egyptian government executed a land reform program while it also assisted farmers with advice and extension services. These events greatly increased crop production which in turn led to an improvement in the people's quality of life. Other factors that helped the IMR to decrease were not planned. For example, employment opportunities expanded throughout the Middle East. Egyptians who took these jobs sent money back to their villages, therefore adding to the village's resources. As a result of this departure of manpower, real agricultural wages for the landless increased substantially. In addition, the highly motivated farmers increased production which caused an increase in jobs and demand for work. The US also played a significant role in the fall of the IMR. US aid concentrated on programs that would reduce the incidence of many infectious diseases that mostly strike infants and children 5 years old. Examples include immunization programs, village sanitation and safe water and drainage projects, and an oral rehydration project. The aforementioned examples of the Egyptian government and people's total commitment to the development of their economy and the improvement in the standard of living all contributed to the rapid decline of the IMR.

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