Black infants are twice as likely as other babies to die during their first year of life. And, in Sacramento County African-American mothers have premature babies at twice the average rate.
Camacho: “It’s still extremely high and it’s just simply unacceptable to us to continue to accept this level of disparity.”
That’s Catherine Camacho with the California Department of Public Health. She says seventeen counties are targeting this issue by raising awareness and connecting women with care.
Sharon Saffold of Sacramento County’s Black Infant Health Program says expecting mothers face many barriers.
Saffold: “Lack of information, lack of resources and a lack of support within the community.”
But even with all of these efforts officials say the rates are not going down fast enough.