By Khetam Malkawi

AMMAN – The birthrate in Jordan stood at 3.8 births per woman in 2009, down from 7.4 in 1976, according to a survey conducted by the Department of Statistics.

The “Population and Family Health Survey”, released at a press conference on Tuesday, indicated that the average number of children born per woman was the highest in Jerash, where it stood at 4.5, followed by Maan and Tafileh with 4.3. In Amman in 2009, the rate was 3.7, while the lowest rate was in Karak with 3.2 births per woman.

The study, conducted in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, USAID, UNICEF, UNIFEM and other NGOs, also revealed that the rate of pneumonia among Jordanian children is 34 per cent, the same rate registered in 2002.

The highest rate of pneumonia among children was registered in Karak where it stood at 45 per cent, followed by Maan at 43 per cent, Balqa at 39 per cent and Irbid and Tafileh at 38 per cent.

The lowest rate, 24 per cent, was registered in Madaba.

As for the rate of pneumonia among women in the 19-49 age bracket, the study revealed that it stood at 26 per cent in 2009, a slight decrease from 27 per cent in 2002, with the highest rates in Aqaba and Balqa governorates (35 per cent), and the lowest in Madaba (22 per cent).

The survey also indicated that infant mortality in the Kingdom was 23 per 1,000 live births, while under-five mortality stood at 28 per 1,000 live births.

The study, which is conducted every five years, also indicated that 8 per cent of Jordanian children under five suffer from stunting (unusually low height) and 1.5 per cent are underweight.

Conducted on 14,872 families across the Kingdom, the study aims at providing demographic indicators including health-related issues, in order to assist policy makers in planning.