Infant mortality rate high among African-American babies in Luca - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Infant mortality rate high among African-American babies in Lucas County

(Source: AP) (Source: AP)
TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) -

Autopsy results recently released showed no signs of trauma to a six-month-old baby, who was found dead in his parents' home. The coroner's office is still waiting on toxicology results to determine a cause of death.

The baby's death comes during Infant Mortality Awareness Month.

The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department says 41 babies did not make it to their first birthday last year. 

What's most concerning to health officials is the infant mortality rate among white babies in the county is 1.6 percent, but it's ten times higher for black babies at 16.8 percent. 

Health Commissioner, Eric Zgodzinski says the gap comes down to racism in our community. 

"Is the inability or disparities they have. Not enough education, not having access to the right medical care, not having access to food," Zgodzinski said. "All of those things as well as the stresses that many of us don't have on our lives because we are not a minority."

Most of the infant deaths are caused by premature births, followed by sleep-related issues.

The "Getting to 1" Coalition focuses on making sure women are healthy before they get pregnant, that they are educated on safe sleep and addressing racism and impacts on health. 

"Making sure they have everything that they need, that they're connected to social services, they're going to their prenatal appointments, that they're asking the right questions at the doctor's office and that they're having those healthy babies," Carly Salamone of Getting to One said.

Zgodzinski says the disparity is a community problem. 

"Make a better commitment to this community to make sure we can get a hold of those stakeholders who are not at the table, bring them to the table and see what they can do," Zgodzinski said. 

Screenings are done for women at their initial, 28-week and postpartum appointments to see who may be in need of help in order to get their babies to their first birthday.

Getting to 1 also takes referrals. For more information on how to get connected to resources, call 419-213-4263 or follow this link.

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