Ten years ago Delaware had an infant mortality rate of 9.3 for every 1,000 live births. State health officials say today that number is 8.4 for every 1,000 live births.
Delaware health officials have developed several programs over the past few years aimed at preventing premature and low birth-weight babies.
“Our targeted efforts are making a profound difference in addressing women’s risk factors for poor birth outcomes,” said Dr. David Paul, chair of the Delaware Healthy Mother and Infant Consortium.
Officials say one cause for concern in this latest report, however, is that the infant mortality rate among African-Americans is 2.6 times higher than that for white babies. The mortality rate for black infants from 2004 to 2008 is 15.1, compared with 5.9 for whites and 7.7 for Hispanics.
One reason for those numbers was reported a recent edition of WHYY’s Delaware newsmagazine First. Unsafe sleeping practices can result in cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
But, the Delaware Division of Public Health pointed to the Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies program which served more than 7,400 African-American women in 2010 and helped identify mothers and infants at risk.