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Belarus President: Natural population growth by 2015 is a must

MINSK, 28 January (BelTA) – By 2015 Belarus has to secure natural population growth. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko pointed it out as he visited the national research and practice center for neurology and neurosurgery on 28 January, BelTA has learned.

The head of state remarked that Belarus is about to achieve natural population growth. He underlined that the goal remains the most important task for the entire healthcare industry.

The President was informed that in January-November 2012 the birth rate per 1,000 capita rose to 12.2, up 6% from the same period of 2011. Infant mortality rate dropped to 3.5 per 1,000 newborns, more than 10% up from the year 2011. The total mortality rate dropped to 7.6% to 13.3 per 1,000 capita. The total mortality rate dropped across the board, including virtually all the groups of diseases and external causes. The mortality rate of able-bodied citizens dropped by nearly 18%. Natural decline in the population shrank by 2.6 times from 2.9 per 1,000 capita in January-November 2011 to 1.1 in January-November 2012.

Belarusian Healthcare Minister Mr Vasily Zharko underlined that they had registered the least population decline for the first time in 20 years. In his words, the number of people born in Belarus rose by 6,000 in 2012, while the number of people, who died, dropped by 9,000. “We have virtually reached the level of natural population growth,” remarked the head of state.

According to the Healthcare Minister, the modernization of the healthcare system will be completed by 2015. At the same time the availability of Minsk hospitals to patients remains a problem. This is why there are plans to build yet another clinic in the capital city.

Alexander Lukashenko drew attention to personal training. He underlined that every highly qualified specialist has to raise at least three pupils with the same knowledge. “Schooling is the most important goal for us. We have invested so heavily in such centers, we have opened them all over the country. Nearly 150,000 people from 70 countries come to Belarus to get treatment. It must mean something. Therefore, it is necessary to create schools instead of resting on our laurels,” said the head of state. “All the conditions for practice and for advancing science have been created here. It is necessary to get specialists together one by one and create a very effective, powerful, science-intensive well-manned school”.