Infant mortality is the death of an infant prior to the infant’s first birthday. The infant mortality rate (IMR) is the comparison of the number of infants who died prior to their first birthday in a particular year to the total number of live infant births for that year. In Milwaukee, the infant mortality rate is alarming compared to the infant mortality rate nationwide. In 2011, the IMR was 9.8 ( 9.8 infant deaths per 1,000 live births – City of Milwaukee Health Department Infant Mortality Summit 2012). In 2011, the IMR for non-Hispanic White women was 4.2. For African American women, it was 14.3. This is over three times the rate for White women ( City of Milwaukee Health Department Infant Mortality Summit 2012).
Milwaukee’s Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) for African American women is worse than the infant mortality rate (IMR) for women living in countries that are considered to be third world countries (i.e. Jamaica, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and the Ukraine). Research indicates that there are numerous issues that contribute to infant mortality. The issues include health care access; health care quality; smoking; stress; poverty; economic issues, child abuse and neglect and racial/ethnic issues to name a few. BCDI-Milwaukee is committed to partnering with organizations in the community to provide education and awareness to the community on this public health issue.
If you are interested in helping in this area, please, consider joining the BCDI- Milwaukee’s Infant Mortality Health Committee. Please, contact Dawn Shelton-Williams via email at email@example.com.