A new federal report found that Ohio ranked next to last for rates of infant mortality among African American babies (Source: “Ohio near bottom in black infant mortality,” Jan. 4, 2018).
Ohio continues to have among the highest rates in the nation of black babies dying before their first birthday.
Ohio infant mortality rate of 13.46 deaths for every 1,000 live births to black mothers from 2013 to 2015 was worse than all states except Wisconsin, according to data released Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics. Ohio’s black infant mortality rate is more than double the state’s infant-mortality rate of 5.76 for babies born to white mothers during the same period.
To address the state’s high infant mortality rate, a Central Ohio organization is piloting a program that would provide housing assistance for women who are homeless or in unstable living conditions (Source: “Housing help being provided to assess impact on infant-mortality rate,” Columbus Dispatch, Feb. 2, 2018).
The $991,000 grant from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency was awarded to CelebrateOne last month to help 50 pregnant women in extremely low-income areas find and pay for housing. The grant will fund a two-year “Healthy Beginnings” pilot program that will provide rental assistance as well as health care and social services to women who are homeless or in unstable living conditions.
Housing was one of four areas highlighted in a report titled “A New Approach to Reduce Infant Mortality and Achieve Equity,” that HPIO was contracted to produce as part of Senate Bill 332. The report found that improving social and economic conditions such as housing, transportation, education and employment opportunities, could help Ohio make faster progress in reducing the number of babies dying before their first birthday