N.J. first lady Tammy Murphy announces festival for Black Maternal Health Week

New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy is set to host a “mini family festival” in South Jersey Wednesday morning to coincide with Black Maternal Health Week, according to the Governor’s Office.

The event kicks off at 10 a.m. at the Southern Jersey Family Medical Center in Burlington City, and it will feature “maternal and infant health programs, resources and service,” provided by local, county, and state government agencies, the Governor’s Office said.

According to the American Public Health Association, Black Maternal Health Week is observed nationwide to “amplify the voices of Black (moms) and center the values and traditions of the reproductive and birth justice movements.”

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The CDC reports that Black people in the U.S. are more likely to die from pregnancy-related issues than white people.

“The fact that Black and brown women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white women, coupled with another staggering statistic that Black and brown infants die at double the rate of their counterparts, is unacceptable and alarming,” Southern Jersey Family Medical Centers president Linda Flake said in a statement Tuesday.

In New Jersey, the maternal mortality rate for Black people is seven times higher than the rate for white people, the Hill reported.

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Murphy, in January 2021, called the staggering statistics a “crisis,” when she unveiled the Nurture New Jersey Health Plan — an initiative to cut the state’s maternal mortality rate in half by 2026.

“Recognizing Black Maternal Health Week in New Jersey means continuing to push forward with determination to solve our state’s Black maternal health crisis,” Murphy said in a statement on Wednesday.

New and expectant parents who already received services through the Southern Jersey Family Medical Center will gain access to a mobile care unit provided by the state Motor Vehicles Commission. Participants are asked to register online.

Black Maternal Health Week is observed from April 11 to April 17.

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