Disparity in Infant Mortality Rates

By: Lanetra Bennett
May 13, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - Newly released figures show that the infant mortality in Leon County rose to its highest rate in eight years.

Tallahassee physician, Edward Holifield, M.D. calls it an outrage that the Florida Department of Health reports that the single year rate for Black infant mortality in Leon County rose to 15.7 per thousand live births. That's up from 9.5 in 2011.

The comparable white rate is 5.6.

Statewide, the report says the black infant mortality went down to an historic low from 12 to 10.7.

Yet, again, the black infant mortality for Florida is more than double the white rate of 4.6.

Dr. Holifield says, "Prenatal care is very important. A significant number of black women receive no pre-natal care during their first trimester of pregnancy. This is 2013, this simply should not be happening."

Dr. Holifield says a key way to fight the high infant mortality among African American babies is for local hospitals and elected officials to work together.

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