Public Health Crisis: Too Many Michigan Infants are Dying

In 2010, Michigan’s infant mortality rate was 7.1. infant deaths per 1,000 live births compared to the national average of 6.1 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. In an effort to address the state’s troubling infant mortality rate, Michigan’s Department of Community Health (MDCH) released an infant mortality reduction plan on Wednesday calling for expansion of home-visiting programs and better health status of women and girls, among other recommendations.

“Michigan’s infant mortality rate is still higher than the national average , and alarming disparities continue to exist between various racial and ethnic groups, particularly between African-Americans and Caucasians,” MDCH director Olga Dazzosaid in a statement. “We want this plan to help us keep our babies alive so that we may watch them grow into healthy, productive adults.”

The plan includes eight strategies and goals for 2012-2015 that are built on evidence that shows:
“• A statewide coordinated perinatal system of care will improve infant morbidity and reduce cost of care for high-need infants
• Adoption of policies to eliminate medically unnecessary deliveries before 39 weeks of gestation will keep more babies alive
• Adoption of a progesterone treatment protocol for high-risk women will prevent preterm birth – a leading cause of infant mortality in Michigan
• Preventing suffocation of infants will keep more babies alive
• Supportive home visiting services improve pregnancy outcomes and positively influence parenting practice
• Women have better pregnancy outcomes when they are healthy prior to and in between pregnancies
• Women who want to be pregnant have better pregnancy outcomes
• Persistent health disparities among people of color is directly related to living conditions and personal experiences, and these factors must be addressed in any plan designed to improve birth outcomes of all people.”

 To read the strategies and goals download the MDCH Infant Mortality Reduction Plan here:




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