Infant mortality rate is defined as the rate at which individuals less than one year of age die. The Ingham County Infant Health Disparities Initiative is a program formed to address and ultimately reduce these disparities. In Ingham county, the infant mortality rate is nearly three times higher for African American infants that for white infants. According to 2004 Michigan Department of Community Health statistics, there are approximately 4.8 white infant deaths per thousand as compared to some 14.9 deaths per thousand for black infants.
The Ingham County Infant Health Disparities Initiative has developed a community-based action plan. The program met most recently on Thursday, September 14 at the Public Sector Consultants Inc building on W. St. Joseph to bring the community together and promote a dialogue. In attendance were members of the Lansing community, public health officials, patient nurses, case workers, and a physician from Lansing’s Sparrow Hospital.
The Initiative’s main objectives include increasing public awareness, addressing underlying causes of infant mortality, and reducing barriers to high-quality health care. Families who attended the program were taught how to position themselves as advocates in programs like the Department of Human Services. They also learned skills to establish good relations with health care providers. Nurses with case management were trained to go into Ingham family homes to raise awareness concerning infant mortality. Says Natasha Davidson, MPH, CHES, with the Ingham County Health Department, “The health of our community depends on the survival of our infants.”
Number of Infant Deaths per Thousand for Ingham and Neighboring
- Eaton: 5.2
- Ingham: 7.1
- Livingston: 4.7
- Washtenaw: 6.4
Number of Infant Deaths per Thousand in Lansing for Black and White
- Black: 14.9
- White: 4.8
For more information log on to http:// www.mdch.state.mi.us/pha/osr/InDxMain/WhiteCityTbl.asp