September is Infant Mortality Awareness Month

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Decreasing Infant Mortality—A Healthy People 2020 Objective

SPRINGFIELD, IL –September is Infant Mortality Awareness Month. While Illinois has made great strides in decreasing the rate of infant mortality and improving maternal and child health, Illinois still falls slightly below the national rate.  Illinois’ infant mortality rate is 6.52 per 1,000 live births compared to the national rate of 6.07 per 1,000 live births.

“Infant mortality continues to be a complex health issue with many medical, social, and economic determinants,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.  “Infant deaths are a good measure of the health of a community.  By addressing infant deaths and decreasing the rate, we will begin to improve the health of Illinois communities.”

Illinois data show racial/ethnic disparities in infant mortality.  For instance, black infants are almost three times as likely as white infants to die in their first year of life.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is committed to addressing infant mortality and working with stakeholders in the Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network to Reduce Infant Mortality (CoIIN) by focusing on preconception and interconception health, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, social determinants of health, early elective delivery, and perinatal regionalization.  The CoIIN group has developed an Infant Mortality Toolkit to help educate and address the social determinants of health issues surrounding infant mortality.

Decreasing the rate of infant mortality is one objective of Healthy People 2020, which is designed to guide national health promotion and disease prevention efforts.

More information about this initiative and goals can be found at http://www.nichq.org/childrens-health/infant-health/coiin-to-reduce-infant-mortality.

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