Dark picture of Russian mortality, health grows grimmer

The sanitary-epidemiological situation in the Russian Federation remains troubling, with worsening numbers showing up in the chief health indexes, including for very young children, general mortality and life-expectancy. Gennady Onishchenko, first deputy minister of health for the Russian Federation, discussed the matter Monday at the second Congress of Russian Toxicologists, Rosbalt reported. He said the national mortality rate had risen in five years from 11.2 per thousand to 14.7 per thousand a year. In addition, he underlined, over the past three years the number of first-time diagnoses is up 15%, cases of pneumonia and bronchial asthma are up 13%, cases of complicated births are up 35% and instances of birth defects are up 23%.