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FLORIDA’S INFANT MORTALITY RATE REACHES ALL-TIME LOW
- Rate reaches record low at 6.4 per 1,000 live births -
TALLAHASSEE- The state of Florida’s infant mortality rate has fallen to 6.4 deaths per 1,000 live births, a historic low and down 33 percent from 1990. The Florida Department of Health (DOH) and the Division of Public Health Statistics reports these statistics in the prevention of infant death in the Annual Bureau of Vital Statistics’ report (2011). Even though the state has a record low in infant mortality, DOH will continue efforts in preventing infant death, promoting optimal maternal and infant health and addressing disparities in infant mortality and adverse birth outcomes that exist between our population groups.
“Reducing infant mortality has been a priority in Florida for many years and remains a long term commitment,” said Division Director for Community Health Promotion Betsy Wood. “The success of decreasing the infant mortality rate is attributed to multiple factors like working with systems of care, quality providers and effective health messages.”
County Health Departments and DOH central office are charged with implementing and continuing efforts to improve infant health. In Florida, there are state and federal Healthy Start programs that provide universal risk screening of all Florida’s pregnant women and newborn infants to identify those at risk of poor birth, health and developmental outcomes. In addition, a Healthy Start Medicaid waiver, a Family Planning Medicaid waiver and multiple programs funded by Closing the Gap Grants exist to reduce infant mortality and improve birth outcomes.
“The Department of Health works with the Healthy Start Coalitions, County Health Departments and Maternal and Child Health Care organizations and associations to promote preconception care, prenatal care, well child health services, interconception care and other preventive health services that can impact infant mortality,” said Betsy Wood.
The 2011 Florida Vital Statistics Annual Report including infant mortality data is available online. Florida’s Bureau of Vital Statistics is a national leader in quality and speedy release of vital statistics data. DOH and the Bureau of Vital Statistics are proud of the early publication of this report. A wealth of other health related statistics are available on the Florida CHARTS website.
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