JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Department of Health released very positive data on Monday suggesting the state’s infant mortality rate has seen a decrease in the infant mortality rate.
According to the 2014 Mississippi Infant Mortality Report, in 2014 the rate was 15% lower than what it was in 2013.
Even more astonishing is the fact it’s decreased almost 30% since 2005.
However, the report still indicated the state still has a long way to go to be on par with others around the country.
“Mississippi continues to have one of the highest rates of infant mortality in the United States,” said State Health Officer Dr. Mary Currier. “Thanks in part to special funding provided by the state legislature, Mississippi is doing more than ever to address the issue of infant mortality by working with partners to reduce preterm births, eliminate tobacco use by and around pregnant women, and prevent sleep-related deaths.”
Also, the report found a staggering difference between the number of black and white infant deaths.
In 2014, the black mortality rate was just above 11 for every 1,000 births.
For whites, it was 5.9.
Overall, the state has been moving in the right direction.
Hospitals around the state have signed a pledge to forgo preterm births (those before 37 weeks) unless necessary.
In addition, they have come up with five strategies to reduce the rates even further:
- Reduce tobacco use during pregnancy
- Improve maternal health before and in between pregnancies
- Improve safe sleep practices that reduce SIDS and sleep related deaths
- Increase rates of breasfeeding
- Enhance perinatal systems of care for high-risk mothers and infants
To see the full report, click here.