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Infant Mortality Rate Disparity For African American Babies Born In Omaha Raises Concerns

It seems that stories about the disparity in infant mortality rate for African American babies are becoming more and more common.  This should concern everyone.

The latest story on this trend comes from Omaha Nebraska.  Currently 14 out of every 1000 African American babies born in Douglas County Nebraska will die in their first 12 months of life.  This infant mortality rate for African American babies is three times the rate of white infants in Douglas County.

“Rates are harder to grasp than actual numbers, so when looking at the state's vital statistics for 2005-2010, for example, you find that 113 black infants died in Douglas County during that period.

Of those, the leading causes of death were listed as sudden infant death syndrome, 21; maternal complications of pregnancy, 20; prematurity, 16; and birth defect, 14.”

We all need to work to ensure that if we are pregnant that we take proper care of our bodies and follow through on our medical visits.  If our daughters, sisters, cousins, aunts or friends are pregnant we should all be encouraging them to live as healthy a life style as possible during the pregnancy.  It is unacceptable that we continue to have stories pop up around the nation reporting this higher rate of infant mortality.  The only way that we can change this disparity is to engage our community to make changes.

We hope that readers will read the entire story and share it with friends.  We thank the Omaha World Herald for running this important story.