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CURRENT RESEARCH: Preterm birth complications, pneumonia are leading causes of death in children under five years

5 Oct

pregnant black

Complications from preterm (premature) births and pneumonia are now the leading causes of death in children under five years, together responsible for nearly 2 million deaths in 2013, according to the latest estimates.

Researchers led by Professor Robert Black, of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA, used the latest available data and modelling methods to examine what caused an estimated 6·3 million deaths of newborn babies (neonates) and children under five years in 2013.

They found that complications from preterm birth were the largest single cause, responsible for 965000 deaths in under-fives, with pneumonia responsible for a further 935000 deaths, and complications from childbirth (intrapartum complications) the next leading cause, responsible for 662,000 deaths.

Read More Here:

HIGHLIGHTED STORIES — Father’s role is critical in stemming infant mortality

9 Jul

The president of the National Fatherhood Initiative in Milwaukee claimed that presence of a father in his child’s life can help reduce infant mortality rates. A study conducted by the National Healthy Start Foundation showed that the lack of a father leads to worse pregnancy outcomes and childhood development — for example, the child is more likely to be poor, having a greater risk of being involved in dangerous or unhealthy behaviors influenced by peers, and an increased risk of developmental delays.

Black father & InfantRead more here:

Wanted! Members of state Affiliates with expertise in maternal and child health

18 Jun


The maternal and child health Section is seeking assistance from state Affiliates to help us identify key individuals with expertise in maternal and child health. We are looking for people who are members of your state public health association and who either: have leadership positions in your MCH Section; or, have expertise in MCH topics or have a leadership role in the area of MCH.

We would like to create a cohort of people involved in MCH work nationwide to share best practices and challenges via regular phone calls and webinars. We have a lot to learn from one another, especially as states prepare for implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

We would like each Affiliate president to send us the name of the person who will be your Affiliate’s official liaison to APHA’s Maternal and Child Health Section. Please contact your Affiliate president if you would like to be considered for nomination. We look forward to working together!

Please send your nominee’s contact information and email address to Janine Lewis (

UN Convention of the Rights of the Child

24 May

The United States is one of three nations that has not ratified the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.  For information on the convention see:

All western nations…but the US have ratified this convention.

The health of the child, including reducing the risk of infectious diseases, prevention of obesity and chronic diseases, and protection from violence and sexual exploitation are all highly important global public health issues; which legislators in the United States have chosen to disregard. For this reason, public health specialists are asked to draw attention to this problem and encourage their legislators to support the ratification of this contract.

SAAPHI Black History Month Spotlight: Healthy Start, Inc.

7 Feb

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2007 national Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) was 6.75 infant deaths per 1,000 live births compared to a 13.31 IMR for non-Hispanic black women. Further comparison with the Central Intelligence Agency ranking order shows the United States has  the 48th best IMR in the world. When analyzing the African American community’s IMR with other nations, they place slightly better than The Bahamas at #127 in the world.

This disparity in IMR between the African American community and other races in the United States is an issue that deserves immediate and persistent action. Healthy Start, Inc. of Pittsburgh, PA is one of the fifteen original federally funded programs designed to identify a broad range of community-driven strategies and interventions aimed at reducing IMR and the number of low birth weight babies in communities battling significantly high IMR. Since 1991, Healthy Start, Inc. has worked diligently to reduce IMR in one of America’s highest IMR and low income African American communities. Their budget has not increased since 1997 even with increased participation in Allegheny County, and in 2007 when the CDC reported 13.31 IMR for non-Hispanic black women, Healthy Start, Inc. reported zero child deaths among its participants countywide.

IMR is once again rising within this community though, and studies have shown that poverty, education, access to prenatal care, and even low birth weight do not completely explain the racial gap in infant mortality. Research is now focusing on stress as a factor. The value of programs like Healthy Start, Inc. are immeasurable, and plenty of similar programs exist in nearby communities. This program offers case management and outreach programs, nutrition counseling services, and develops partnerships to ensure continued funding for critical services. However, they cannot do it alone.

We must do our part in this quest to develop healthy living babies. For our African American women, please take care of yourselves. For our African American men, please take care of (y)our women.