Infant Mortality Rate in Shelby County Lowest Ever

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(Shelby County, TN) More babies in Shelby County are living through the first year of their lives.

Tuesday, 5 day old Kimora waited to see the doctor at the Shelby County Health Clinic in Southland Mall.

Kimora's mom wants her to stay healthy, so this will be the first of many doctor`s visits this year for the new-born.

"You never know whats going on with your child, until you go the doctor and find out yourself.." said Kimora's mother Domineisha Conley.

Sadly, in 2011, 134 Babies like Kimora, died before their first birthday.

It's believed those babies didn't get  the prenatal care Kimora's mother was so passionate about.

"We know in Shelby County, most babies that died within their first year, died  within the first 30 days. They are born too little or too soon," said Public Health Director Yvonne Madlock.

According to Madlock, last year's death rate for infants was the lowest in county history.

She credits years of community outreach programs pushing for pre-natal care and with the improvement.

But even though there is some good news today there is still a lot of work to do.

"The national goal that`s been established by the CDC for 2020 is 6 deaths per 1000 live births," said Madlock.

That`s two-thirds of Shelby County`s current infant mortality rate.

"We want to get to a point where our community is at least meeting that goal, it's not impossible.  Whether we will get there by 2020 remains to be seen, but we wont get there, if we don`' try," said Madlock.