T&T’s fertility numbers below international rate says Deyalsingh

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T&T’s fertility numbers below international rate says Deyalsingh

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh has warned that this country’s fertility rate is below the international rate.

Speaking with the media at the Mt Hope Women’s Hospital, where the country’s first three Christmas babies were born, Deyalsingh said: “The birth rates in Trinidad and Tobago have been declining over the years. It’s a concern globally. What you’re seeing is declining birth rates among industrialised countries. The more industrialised, the wealthier the country becomes, birth rates start to decline. So, we are now down to less than about 13,000 live births per year.”

He said the decision by women to delay pregnancies and reduce the number of children they have, is contributing to the declining birth rate. The replacement rate, he said, which allows for a country’s population to remain at existing levels, is 2.1 births per woman in a country. T&T, however, has a rate of 1.9.

The Health Minister said the reduced birth rate was not a reflection of increased abortion rates either. He explained that as countries move away from agriculture-based societies, the need for multiple children to have able bodied people to work the fields decreased.

A total of eight babies were born on Christmas Day yesterday and during his visits to the new mothers, Deyalsingh also heaped praises on the nurses, who he said implemented policy to the point that for the first time in years, the country had recorded zero maternal deaths.

“In 2023, to date, we have had no maternal deaths. Absolutely none. And that message keeps getting lost in national conversation. We never get the credit for that. But as I say, one bad thing happens and that’s the headline tomorrow. So, I want to credit them with the work that they have done,” he said.

Deyalsingh said the maternal death rates have been steadily declining since 2016, with this year being the first with no maternal deaths.