The three health commissioners in Butler County are looking to acquire a grant the Ohio Department of Medicaid to combat infant mortality in the area.
The grant will help pay for education programs to raise awareness of infant mortality. Butler County’s three health commissioners, and the Butler County Education Services Center, are seeking up to $1.49 million from the state Medicaid department.
Infant mortality is defined nationwide as the death of a live-born baby before his or her 1st birthday. More than 22,000 infants died in the United States in 2017, and 982 died that year in Ohio.
Infant mortality in Butler County has declined in the past few years, but the rate of deaths among African-American babies is three times the rate as white babies, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the five leading causes of infant death nationwide in 2017 were:
• pre-term birth and low birth weight;
• maternal pregnancy complications;
• Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS); and
• injuries, such as suffocation.
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