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Focus group on AfricanAmerican infant mortality

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African American babies in Broward County are succumbing to infant mortality at a rate of 2 to 1 as compared to white infants

Focus group on AfricanAmerican infant mortality

By Marie Carrie

mcarrie305@gmail.com

      African American babies in Broward County are succumbing to infant mortality at a rate of 2 to 1 as compared to white infants. While this number appears high, it is actually a decrease from three to one in 2008, according to data collected by the FIMR (Fetal Infant Mortality Review) program, a division of Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Broward County, Inc.

In an effort to continue decreasing this gap, a focus group is being created in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. for women that have experienced infant mortality in the last two years. Infant mortality refers to children lost to death during the first year of life, including stillbirths and miscarriages.

Participants in the focus group will meet for two hours to discuss their prenatal care, maternal health, deliveries, and postnatal period. All information collected will be reported anonymously and presented during a Health Symposium scheduled for June 21 at the African American Research Library. Focus group participants will receive a small gift card as a thank you and information on bereavement support groups in the area.

According to Jennifer Combs, MSN, ARNP, 40 percent or infant deaths are preventable.  “We need to be the advocate for the babies that have died. We need to be their voice, for while their cries may have been silenced, their voices will be heard.” The purpose of the focus group is to hear these voices.

The increased risk of death for African American infants is attributed to a number of preventable factors including, lack of prenatal care, maternal diabetes or obesity, untreated maternal infection and an overall lack of awareness and education.

Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Broward County, Inc. provides programs and services aimed at increasing education and awareness and decreasing the unnecessary loss of infant life.

One such program that al-ready exists is the Mahogany Project. This program targets high-risk, pregnant women ages 18-30 in the 33311 zip code. Women who lack family support and economic resources are given access to extensive prenatal and postnatal services free of charge through the program.

According to Sandra Despagne, Infant Mortality Program Manager for Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, this is vitally important because “a lot of women may not be aware that the healthier that they are before pregnancy can have an impact on their pregnancy outcome.”

For more information on The Mahogany Project contact the MODCO Satellite Office at 401 N.W. Ninth Ave., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 33311

To participate in the focus group for women who have lost a baby in the past two years, please contact Sandra Despagne at (954) 765-0550 by May 17, 2013.

The group will meet at Mt. Olivet SDA Church, 649 N.W. 15 Way in Fort Lauderdale on Monday, May 20 from 6-8 p.m.

 

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    About The Author

    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

    Number of Entries : 5102

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