PRESS RELEASE : Infant Mortality Awareness

In 2006, September was designated as Infant Mortality Awareness Month in an effort to draw national attention to the number of American babies dying before they reach their fist birthday. Six years later there is still a need to educate the public on this issue as the numbers, although slightly improved, leave the US ranking 34th amongst other nations when it comes to infant deaths. Worse yet, African American families suffer losses at 2-3 times the rate as other races. According to the CDC in 2008 the US infant mortality rate for Caucasians was 5.6 per thousand live births, yet the African American rate was 13.1, and the Native American rate was 8.7.

 

Earlier this week women of color attended rallies to draw attention to the plight and perils inherent during pregnancy and birth, which increase the risks for themselves and their babies in the current American maternity care system. A grassroots movement is underway where women are speaking out against the lack of access to quality prenatal care providers, overuse of interventions during birth and the impact of little to no postpartum support for families. They are seeking to show the connection between social, economic and political as well as the physical aspects of maternity health care in our country.

Agencies such as Healthy Start, March of Dimes, the Office of Minority Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are leading efforts to address these concerns and reach the goals of the government’s Healthy People 2020 (http://www.healthypeople.gov) initiative.

Visit The National Healthy Start Association Awareness Campaign for more information.