The state is working with community leaders trying to find ways to curb the infant mortality crisis. A new report shows that 1,024 babies died before their first birthday last year. That’s a 1.9 percent increase from the previous year.
Though the number of infant deaths are sobering, the state is pointing to efforts that seem to be working. Sandy Oxley, with the state’s health department, notes a 22 percent decrease in sleep-related deaths after a safe sleeping campaign.
“Certainly any babies dying are too many so we won’t let up with that effort but really double down on where we have been able to achieve although it’s modest, a little bit of success.”
The state continues to have a big racial gap with the mortality rate.
The report shows the rate for white infants was 5.8 for every 1,000 live births. For black infants, that number jumps up to 15.2.