The health and well-being of the populations within and across countries are primarily determined through Infant Mortality. The underlying principle of infant mortality rate refers to the number of babies born died before reaching one year old. According to the demographical and epidemiological statistics presented by CDC, Infant Mortality rate in the United States continues to decline steadily over the past several decades.
Statistics shows that in 1960 there are about 26. 0 per 1,000 live births Infant Mortality; in 2000 it is down to only 6.9 per 1,000 live births. There are several factors that affects Infant Mortality rate. Prenatal Care is the most common factor attributed to the causes of death among infants. Infants who died are usually diagnosed to have low birth weight and/or premature. Other factors are infections, Sudden Infant Death, respiratory distress syndrome and maternal complications during pregnancy. Specific Needs According to studies (CDC. gov, Dept. of Health and Human Services), African Americans has as much as twice Infant Mortality than White Americans.
In a compilation made by the Department of Health and Human Services, they found out that since 1960 ‘neonatal mortality has improved greater in Whites than Blacks; however, post neonatal mortality improved greater in Blacks than in Whites’. However, ‘recent reports undermines that improvements in infant mortality remains stable with Whites but remains high among Blacks’. CDC elaborates that in 2000, Infant Mortality among African American occurred at the rate of 14. 1. This shows a large disparity since the national Infant Mortality rate, as mentioned above is only 6.9.
Aside from the racial disparity that occurs among White Americans and African Americans, there are also ethnic disparities that are observed. CDC reports that there are more ‘Alaskan Natives and American Indians than the non-Hispanic White mothers’ who experience Sudden Infant Deaths. “More premature babies are being born and they have a much greater chance of dying. Increasing obesity rates among pregnant women put babies at risk. And Utah’s rapidly growing Latino population has a higher infant mortality rate than whites” (http://www.sltrib. com).
Most people especially those in CDC tries to link higher rates of Infant Mortality to the incapability of the people to afford preventive health tactics such as immunizations, prenatal care and screening. CDC officials further explains that although it is hard to prove that there exist a link between race and infant mortality, it is important to note that race is related with poverty. Poverty, on the other hand, is a reason or a factor that makes it impossible for some people to afford proper health care.
To be able to break away with the current trend in Infant Mortality, a goal was set that by the end of 2010 the disparities that exist whether racially or ethnically will be eradicated or at least reduced especially those that are above the national average. It is to this effect that public health groups and agencies are committed in continuing their service. Personally, I believe that Health officials are indeed vigilant and determined to achieve their set goals; nonetheless, they lack actual action.