Ohio Department of Health awards 12 million to prevent maternal deaths

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has been awarded $12 million in federal funding to address maternal mortality across the state.

According to the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the rate of pregnancy-related maternal deaths in the U.S. has more than doubled since 1987, and the agency is funding state efforts across the U.S. to address this issue.

HRSA recently announced that ODH would receive $10 million over the next five years to support maternal mortality prevention efforts.

The funding will be used to establish a maternal health task force and implement a plan to prevent and reduce preventable maternal deaths.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded ODH a $2.2 million grant over five years to continue the work of the agency's program.

The new ODH report on pregnancy-related deaths summarizes key findings from 186 pregnancy-related deaths of Ohio women that occurred between 2008-2016. Key findings included:

- The leading causes of pregnancy-related deaths included heart conditions, infections, severe bleeding, and pre-eclampsia, and eclampsia.

- 57% of the pregnancy-related deaths from 2012-2016 could have been prevented.

- Ohio's pregnancy-related mortality rate was significantly lower than the overall U.S. rate.

- Black women are more than two-and-a-half times more likely to die of a pregnancy-related condition than white women.