© 2021 WYPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Lowering The Infant Mortality Rate In Baltimore

Kabilan Subramanian / Flickr / Creative Commons

More than six in every thousand babies in Maryland die before their first birthday.  In Baltimore, the infant mortality rate is even higher – 10.3 deaths in the first year for every thousand live births – although the rate has been heading down in recent years. Five years ago the city of Baltimore overhauled its approach to preventing infant deaths. It created "B'more for Healthy Babies," which has been developed and overseen by our guests today.

Rebecca Dineen, the city’s assistant health commissioner for maternal and child health is with Sheilah in the studio. And, on the phone is Dr. Gena O’Keefe, senior associate with the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Wicomico County on the Eastern shore counts the same infant mortality rate as Baltimore, but nearly twice as high a rate among African-American babies – 22.8 per thousand births compared to 12.5 in the city. And, in western Maryland, Washington County’s overall infant mortality rate is 5.3 per 1000 births, but the rate for African American babies is four times that – more than 22.  Point of comparison:  The World Bank says 22 is the rate in North Korea, the Kyrgyz Republic and Algeria.

You can find more statistics on the Infant Mortality Rate in Baltimore here. "B'more for Healthy Babies" is celebrating its 5th anniversary tonight at the National Aquarium. The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 5, the program at 6:30. More details here.


Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.