Kosovo infant mortality rate highest in Europe

PRISTINA, Apr 27, 2000 -- (AFP) The infant mortality rate in Kosovo is the highest in Europe, with a fifth of mothers giving birth without medical assistance, according to the results of a survey made available on Wednesday.

Half the active population is unemployed, 40 percent fled during last year's war, and 20 percent were displaced inside the southern Yugoslav province, according to the findings.

The survey was carried between November and February on 40,000 people by the Kosovo statistics bureau, the international migrations organization, and the United Nations population agency UNFPA.

It said the infant mortality rate was 35 per 1,000 head of population in the 12 months before the survey was carried out, the highest in Europe.

Almost 15 percent of women did not consult a doctor during pregnancy, it said. The average number of children per woman was 2.5.

According to the findings, half the population is under 25 and a quarter of Kosovars between 20 and 40 are living abroad, mainly in Switzerland and Germany.

A final report on the survey findings will be published in June.

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