Pregnant women and families with young children in Rostov-on-Don will receive text messages with information on the prevention of meningitis, due to a recent outbreak in the area, the press secretary of the Ministry of Health said Monday. Two children have died in the outbreak.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday that the country’s maternal mortality rate had dropped over 50% since 2005, from 25.4 out of 100,000 to 11.5 in 2012.
Starting next week, cigarette packages in Russia will carry warning messages and images, a health ministry official said Tuesday, as part of new federal legislation. President Vladimir Putin signed the anti-smoking bill into law in February. The bill will ban smoking in public places, restrict tobacco sales, and ban representations of smoking in media content aimed at children.
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Russia’s birth rate rose 5.6% in 2012, said Minister of Health Veronika Skvortsova, citing a reduction in abortions as one contributing factor.
According to the minister, a comprehensive set of measures, including psychological support services for pregnant women in difficult situations, had a positive effect on the birth rate last year, decreasing the rate of abortions by 5.5%. In addition, she noted that over 3,000 children were born through infertility treatment.