State Health Department gives grant to reduce infant mortality - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

State Health Department gives grant to reduce infant mortality

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The State Health Department says at least 1,000 infants in Ohio die before they even reach their first birthday. 

Officials say Youngstown is in the top nine areas that account for almost six out of 10 deaths in the state. Researchers say this has been a growing problem in our area for decades.

The state of Ohio wants to reduce those numbers to help save lives and also assist mothers in raising healthy babies. 

The State Health Department is giving $7.5 million in grants to administer programs to alleviate some of the risks.

The Department says Mahoning County's Educational Services Center will receive $495,000 for programs to help mothers, babies, and children. 

Mahoning County's Educational Services Center will receive money for a program that will offer help to moms to make sure they know they have the right cribs and medical care that is needed.

The social workers or early childhood professionals will meet regularly to provide expecting, new moms, or parents in the comfort of their homes and provide support and educational resources to raise children that are physically and emotionally healthy.

The state says prematurity-related conditions, or birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy, are the leading cause of infant mortality in Ohio. 

The state is helping address smoking, diabetes, and high blood pressure which can contribute to a preterm or low birth weight baby.

One of the more successful interventions is the use of a hormone medication progesterone to help reduce the likelihood of per term births.

The majority of state funding is dedicated to supporting local community-driven proposals to combat infant mortality rates in high-risk areas.

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