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Franklin County Makes Strides Toward Reducing Infant Mortality Rate

Matt Rourke
Associated Press

More babies lived to celebrate their first birthdays last year, according to a new data from Columbus Public Health.  

The CelebrateOne Initiative released recent data for Franklin County showing the infant mortality rate dropped from 8.2 per 1,000 births in 2017 to 7.5 deaths in 2018.

"We have seen a drop in the infant mortality rate, not just over last year, but a consistent drop since 2011,” says Erika Clark Jones, executive director of Celebrate One. “And we are experiencing a 23 percent decrease in our infant mortality rate from the rates in 2011."

Franklin County’s infant mortality rate is far above the national rate, but Jones says they’re pleased with the progress made so far.

“We’re seeing a decrease of over 20 percent in all races in the infant mortality rate," she says. However, going forward, we are very focused on reducing the disparity in infant deaths between non-hispanic blacks and non-hispanic white babies.”

Across the country, infant mortality rates are 2.5 times higher for African-American babies than for white babies. Clark Jones says Celebrate One will continue safe sleep education in neighborhoods with the highest rates, like Linden, the Hilltop and Franklinton.