Infant and maternal deaths remain a challenge in Georgia, despite progress

While there are various efforts in Georgia aimed at reducing the risk of death and other adverse events among new moms and their babies, there’s still a long way to go, noted speakers at the seventh State of the Public’s Health Conference at the University of Georgia.

During a session at the Oct. 18 event in Athens, experts from The March of Dimes, Healthcare Georgia Foundation and UGA’s College of Public Health painted a grim picture of how well issues like maternal and infant deaths, preterm births and access to prenatal care are addressed statewide.

“We have a major challenge,” said UGA public health professor José F. Cordero, during a session on promoting healthy starts for mothers and infants. He and others highlighted some of the statistics they find most alarming.

For example, at 7.5 deaths per 1,000 live births, the Peach State ranked among the top ten worst in the country on infant mortality rates— which refers to how frequently a child dies before reaching his or her first birthday.

Georgia also has the highest maternal mortality rate in the U.S., at 46.2 deaths per 100,000 births, according to the 2018 Health of Women and Children Report from America’s Health Rankings, an organization that provides health-related data for policymakers, advocates and individuals.

Click for the full story posted here by UGA College of Public Health. The author, Emily Webb, is graduate student in the health and medical journalism program.

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