Two State Senators, one Republican and one Democrat, are trying to figure out what the state can do to lower the number of deaths of premature infants in Ohio. In an interview with Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles, Democratic Senator Charleta Tavares explains the rate is especially high among African American infants.
Tavares: "We’re 49th out of 50 states in the deaths of African American babies."
Ingles: "Why so high?"
Tavares: "That’s part of what we're trying to address and uncover. We’ve got some of the best medical facilities, some of the best health care providers in the state of Ohio, in the communities where some of the best children’s hospitals are located. We have got nationally recognized health and hospital institutions recognized. In those very same zip codes you’ve got babies dying at twice the rate of Caucasian babies. Ohio in general for all babies--Ohio ranks 38th among white babies so it means we are the 38th worst state in the nation. And for African American babies, we are 49th. There’s only one state that is worse than Ohio."
Tavares says she and Republican State Senator Shannon Jones will be going around the state, visiting groups in areas where the problem is worst, to try to figure out what the state can do to lower the rate of death for premature infants. A group of health care providers is also looking at the problem and plans to make suggestions that Ohio can adopt in the future to lower the incidences of death from premature births.