African-American infants died at three times the rate at which white infants died and more than twice the overall rate of infant mortality in Ohio, according to ODH. The state reports 384 black infants died in 2017, up from 369 in 2016.
“The data shows we are helping more babies in the state reach their first birthdays, but we still have a lot of work to do – particularly in eliminating racial disparities in birth outcomes,” said Lance Himes, ODH director. “Ohio is investing millions of dollars in local infant mortality and disparity initiatives, particularly in high-risk communities and populations.”
» RELATED: High county infant death rates remain worrisome for health officials
Nine Ohio counties accounted for around 66 percent of all infant deaths last year and 90 percent of black infant deaths, ODH reported. Those nine counties included some of Ohio’s most populous cities such as Cleveland in Cuyahoga County, Columbus in Franklin County, Cincinnati in Hamilton County, Toledo in Lucas County, Dayton in Montgomery County, Youngstown in Mahoning County, Akron in Summit County and Canton in Stark County and Butler County.
Of the nine counties with the highest infant mortality rate, Butler, Franklin, Stark and Summit all saw fewer black infant deaths in 2017 than they did the year before.
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