Blacks Have Higher Infant Mortality Rates Than Whites in Ohio County, Report Finds
The Hamilton County, Ohio, Child Fatality Review Team on Thursday released its annual child death report, which found black infants and children have higher mortality rates in the county than whites, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
According to the report, 112 of the 166 children and teenagers who died in the county last year were 12 months old or younger. Of infants who died in the county, 56.2% were black. More than 70% of the infants who died lived in Cincinnati.
In 2004, the county's black infant mortality rate was 20.6 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared with 6.2 deaths among white infants per 1,000 live births, the Enquirer reports. The state's overall infant mortality rate is 7.7 deaths per 1,000 live births, and 16.3 black infants die per 1,000 live births.
Several efforts are underway to address the infant mortality disparities, according to the Enquirer. The Board of Hamilton County Commissioners and the Cincinnati City Council are collaborating to form a joint task force on infant mortality. The task force will look at access to care for black women, according to Todd Portune, president of the board.
The Hamilton County General Health District is developing a surveillance system that will track infant mortality trends and help health officials create intervention programs. Other programs are working to ensure that mothers receive prenatal care and guidance, the Enquirer reports (O'Farrell, Cincinnati Enquirer, 5/10).