President of the Republic of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, only recently led a meeting to analyze the country's demographic dynamics and implementation of the special measures to counter the declining population trend.
According to the President's website, Díaz-Canel emphasized the importance of working intelligently and intensively on the issue, with appropriate monitoring, to ensure more births and avoid further reduction of the population.
Marino Murillo Jorge, head of the standing committee for policy implementation and development, reported that in the first quarter of 2020 there were 23,666 births and 27,269 deaths, a trend that is expected to continue through the year, indicating, for the first time, a natural decrease in Cuba's population.
Also noted was the fact that the number of Cubans aged 60 or over has reached 20.8% of the population, and this figure is expected to increase to 21.2% this year.
When examining the subject of infertility, a regular point on the agenda during these discussions, it was reported that 99.9% of a total of 138,977 couples were assisted, most at the municipal or provincial level and regional High Technology Centers. In this way, during 2019 and the first quarter of 2020, a total of 11,678 pregnancies were achieved.
In order to continue the search for solutions to the low birth rate, some twenty measures are being studied, including greater attention and protection for pregnant women, working mothers and fathers, and families responsible for the care of children.
After reviewing, via video-conference, efforts in all provinces to provide housing for mothers with three or more children, and increase attention to childcare centers and homes for the elderly, Díaz-Canel noted that the demographic situation is becoming increasingly complex, with significant impact on the present and future of the country’s economic and social development.
We must continue to pay attention to this program, he insisted, adding that, alongside current work confronting the new coronavirus, the government has taken steps to support the program, and made progress in increasing capacity at childcare centers and creating better conditions in rest homes and community centers for older adults.