Infant Mortality

The Facts

  • 23,000 babies die each year in the United States from their day of birth to their first birthday. Nearly half of these babies die on the day of birth. (CDC, 2017.)
  • As a frame of reference, 1,780 children in the U.S. die of cancer annually.
  • (National Cancer Institute, 2018.)
  • 5.9 babies are dying in the U.S. for every 1000 live births, between birth and their first birthdays. The international average is 3.9 babies dying per 1000 live births. (OECD, 2018.)
  • United States ranks poorly- 33 of 36 OEDC/developed countries. (OECD, 2018 Annual Report.)
  • Key Causes of Infant Mortality: Many of these deaths are preventable.
    • Birth defects
    • Pre-term birth and low birth weight
    • Lack of access to quality healthcare/transportation
    • Maternal pregnancy complications
    • Sudden infant death syndrome; injuries (e.g., suffocation) (CDC, 2019.)

Poverty and lack of Access to Quality Healthcare: Poor access to healthcare is one of the key determinants at the root of maternal and infant mortality. Other determinants including quality education, safe housing, food security, job opportunities and healthcare access/transportation, fuel poverty in communities throughout the United States. This disparity is significant in its impact on families in every corner of our country, from cities to rural America, and from Alaska to the Pacific Islands. Among these communities of Americans, the incidence of maternal and infant mortality are two to three times higher among African American and Pacific Islander families than Hispanic, Asian, and Caucasian moms and babies.

In the United States, 3.6 million Americans miss or delay medical appointments due to lack of available, affordable transportation.

Solution: We are a philanthropic organization that raises and awards funds to save lives by reducing Maternal and Infant Mortality. We achieve our mission by providing access to quality health care. We raise and award money to fund innovative programs, including transportation and telemedicine.

Telemedicine and in-home monitoring are proving to serve as effective, cost-saving alternatives to face-to-face medical visits that are often difficult to keep for women living in certain urban and rural areas. Telemedicine improves access to medical professionals, encourages follow-up visits by patients, promotes education via video chats, increases patient compliance and advances preventive care. The University of Mississippi, (U of M), with the Cost & Quality Academy, conducted a study to measure if telemedicine can improve patient compliance and prevent complications due to failure to take medications. U of M Medical Center telemedicine program gained 96% medication compliance for a group of diabetes patients over the term of the study.

Maternal and Infant Health are Intertwined: A direct correlation exists between maternal mortality and infant mortality. The healthier the mom, the better the chance of delivering a healthy baby, and the greater the opportunity for both mom and baby to thrive. The American Public Health Association describes infant mortality as, “A sentinel population health metric because it reflects the cumulative health experience of women and families as well as a society’s ability to care for a most vulnerable population.” Alarmingly, in the United States, incidents of maternal and infant mortality are higher than in similarly wealthy countries.Incidents of Infant Mortality and Maternal Mortality in the United States are equal to those of third world countries.

Infant Mortality: It is difficult to imagine that in the United States each year 23,000 babies die before their first birthday. This equates to nearly 6 babies of every 1000 born; 11,300 babies die the day they are born; Thousands of babies each year, carry chronic and debilitating medical conditions into childhood and require lifelong medical care.