Health at a Glance: Latin America and the Caribbean 2020

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Health at a Glance: Latin America and the Caribbean 2020 presents key indicators on health and health systems in 33 Latin America and the Caribbean countries. This first Health at a Glance publication to cover the Latin America and the Caribbean region was prepared jointly by OECD and the World Bank. Analysis is based on the latest comparable data across almost 100 indicators including equity, health status, determinants of health, health care resources and utilisation, health expenditure and financing, and quality of care. The editorial discusses the main challenges for the region brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as managing the outbreak as well as mobilising adequate resources and using them efficiently to ensure an effective response to the epidemic. An initial chapter summarises the comparative performance of countries before the crisis, followed by a special chapter about addressing wasteful health spending that is either ineffective or does not lead to improvement in health outcomes so that to direct saved resources where they are urgently needed.

English Also available in: Spanish

Infant and young child feeding

Feeding practices of infants and young children heavily influence their chances of short-term survival and their capacity to realise their long-term potential. They contribute to healthy growth, decrease rates of stunting and obesity and lead to higher intellectual development (Victora et al., 2016[9]). Starting at the beginning of a woman’s pregnancy to the second birthday of her child, the first 1 000 days represent a key opportunity to ensure wellness and create the foundations of a productive and healthy life. Breastfeeding is often the best way to provide nutrition for infants. Breast milk provides infants with nutrients they need for healthy development, including the antibodies that help protect them from common childhood illnesses such as diarrhoea and pneumonia, the two primary causes of child mortality worldwide (see Chapter 3. Child mortality). Breastfeeding is also linked with better health outcomes as children grow older (Rollins et al., 2016[10]). Adults who were breastfed as babies often have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol, as well as lower rates of overweight, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Breastfeeding also improves IW, school attendance and is linked to higher income levels in adult life. More than 800 000 deaths among children under five could be saved every year globally, if all children 0‑23 months were optimally breasted (Victora et al., 2016[9]). Breastfeeding also benefits mothers through its effect in fertility control, reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer later in life and lowering rates of obesity.

English Also available in: Spanish


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