infant mortality

The Indiana State Department of Health promotes safe sleep habits as part of its efforts to reduce infant mortality.
Daniel Rothamel via Flickr/

Indiana is focusing resources on some of the state’s most vulnerable communities to address a major health inequity. Earlier this month, Governor Mike Pence signed legislation to authorize $13.5 million over the next two years to a grant program aimed at reducing infant mortality, a problem which disproportionately affects African Americans.

Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA/Side Effects Public Media

This story is part of the series "Shortage in Rich Land" on Missouri's Bootheel region. Click here to see all of the stories.

It’s a cold afternoon in Kennett, Mo. The lawns in this low-income housing neighborhood are still wet from yesterday’s rain. And just inside the door of her mother’s brick home, 27-year-old Marylouisa Cantu sits on a couch, pregnant and draped in a blanket.

Her mother beckons, through the storm door.

“Come in, come in.”


CDC/ Debora Cartagena

Every month, Cynthia Edwards breathes through a machine that can tell if she’s been smoking. If the machine registers a low enough number, she takes home a $25 voucher to help her pay for diapers for her five-month old son, Justus.

Across the world, a child's survival is a lot like drawing a lottery ticket. Factors based purely on chance — where a child is born, how much money his or her family has and what their ethnic background is — can determine if a child lives past age 5.

While blankets, pillows and quilts sound like the makings of a cozy bed for an adult, they can be downright dangerous in an infant's crib.

stock photo

"A study published in September by the National Bureau of Economic Research challenged the conventional problem that blames the infant mortality problem on the premature births of newborn infants. The paper found that where the U.S. rate is significantly higher than European countries is in the number of children who die between the ages of 1-5... Which brings us to the work of Dr. David Olds. He's now a professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where he also directs the Prevention Research Center for Family and Child Health. Since the 1970s, he's been looking at ways that home visits from nurses can help new parents take better care of their children. And that led to the Nurse-Family Partnership, which is now a national organization."

Infant Mortality In Minorities

Oct 27, 2013

Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh is located, has an infant mortality rate nearly triple the national average for minority babies. To help lower the infant mortality rate, Family-Nurse Partnership and Healthy Start were formed to provide expecting mothers in Allegheny County with home visits from registered nurses. Field producer Erika Beras takes “Sound Medicine” listeners on a home visit to a mother in Allegheny County.

Sound Medicine: February 17, 2013

Feb 17, 2013

This week on "Sound Medicine," an Indianapolis OB/GYN talks about a Doctors Without Borders project to reduce infant mortality in Sierra Leone, Africa.