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Health and Medicine

Ohio deaths of premature infants are high, especially for African-Americans
RepubLican and Democratic state lawmakers look for solutions

Jo Ingles
In The Region:

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 Sen. Charleta Tavares explains why the rate is especially high among African American infants.


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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 are trying to address. We’ve got some of the best medical facilities, 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 in the nation and for African American babies, we are 49th.”

Tavares says she and Republican State Sen.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 Ohio can adopt to lower the incidences of death from premature births.


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