JACKSONVILLE, FL — The city’s infant mortality rate continues to be the highest in Florida with the rate in the black community nearly twice that of whites.
Those findings are found in a a study on infant mortality just completed by Jacksonville Community Council Inc.
In 2006, 130 infants died before their first birthday in Jacksonville.
The mortality rate overall in the city is 9.5% with the rate for whites 7.2% and for blacks 12.7% in 2006.
“Jacksonville has the highest rate in the state,” said Helen Jackson who is the JCCI Board of Directors President. “This is not something we want to be known for.”
Poor nutrition is cited as one reason for city’s high rate of infant mortality.
Other reasons to come into play says Joy Burgess who was a member of the study team.
“Racism, poverty, poor housing, crime, poor education, access to medical care and joblessness is killing our babies,” said Burgess.
Recommendations are being offered to help turn the infant mortality rate around. One idea is creating an Ombudsperson program so there is someone to represent and be an advocate for expectant mothers.
Another suggestion made was to bring more well stocked grocery stores into neighborhoods so expectant mothers have access to a well-balanced diet.
Source: First Coast News
A lot of those things listed are called “lifestyle choices”. Poor education? Schools bend over backwards trying to help students to graduate. The teachers, however, cannot make a student learn that refuses to put forth any effort. Poverty and joblessness? This is the 21st century, and most jobs require some type of training and at least a high school education. Access to medical care? Please. Every poor person has state-funded coverage. All they have to do is make an appointment and actually show up on time. Poor housing? I helped build some of the government low income housing. It’s newer than the house I live in. My house, however, is taken care of and not routinely torn apart. Crime? Well, that’s one of the reasons that there aren’t as many well-stocked grocery stores as people may want. It’s dangerous for the workers and managers, and the stores lose too much money.
It would be much more productive to quit saying that the causes of high infant mortality are “racism” and take a good, hard look at where the blame lies.