Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Infant mortality

Save the Children, an international non-profit organization working to meet the needs of poor children around the world recently released a report on infant mortality.

The results reported are sobering. . .for those of us who live in the United States.

America, the world's number one superpower, would do well to pay attention to the survival rate for its infants.

Among 33 industrialized nations examined in a new report, the United States tied for next to last with Hungary, Malta, Poland and Slovakia with a death rate of nearly 5 per 1,000 babies born. Only Latvia had higher mortality figures, with 6 deaths per 1,000 births.

Industrialized nations with a lower infant mortality rate include Japan, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Australia, Canada, Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania and the United Kingdom, to name just a few of those ahead of the U. S.

While U. S. infant mortality rate for all races is 5 deaths per 1,000 births, for non-Hispanic blacks, the rate is 9.3 deaths per 1,000, another example of a disparity in health and wellness outcomes when factored by race.

The U. S. has the benefit of more neonatologists and operates more neonatal intensive care beds per person than Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, but presents a higher mortality rate among is newborns than any of these nations.

Researchers noted that the United States is more racially diverse and has a greater degree of economic disparity than many other developed countries, making it more challenging to provide culturally appropriate health care for all of its citizens.

Apparently, factors defined by race and economic disparity (read "poverty" here) mean more babies are dying. Pre-natal care, community strength, social capital and low birth weights all factor into this disturbing national outcome. For the complete report that focuses most of its attention on the severe crisis in developing nations, go to:


At Central Dallas Ministries we are working as hard as we can, every day with our neighbors, expectant mothers and the larger community to build havens of health, hope and collective strength for the benefit of the precious babies born in our city every day.

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