FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C. – On November 1, 2023, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released provisional data indicating that the total infant mortality rate in the U.S. has increased by 3% from 2021-2022. After decades of decline, these data are alarming for maternal and child health (MCH) leaders and call for immediate action.
“As demonstrated by the data released, there are deep fractures in our country’s basic health care, public health, economic, and social services infrastructure that actively threaten the health of our nation’s women and birthing people, mothers, and infants – especially for individuals that identify as Indigenous, Native American, or Alaska Native,” said Terrance E. Moore, CEO, AMCHP. “These fractures deepen with each birthing facility closure that creates a maternity desert; with each decision to focus only on clinical interventions over the critical community supports essential for healthy and connected families, such as stable housing, secure food access, and community- and culturally-rooted birth support; with each limitation on reproductive autonomy and devaluing of the significance of the birthing experience; with each failed policy proposal to provide affordable childcare and universal paid parental and family leave.”
“I’ve seen references to these being provisional data; to it being only a single year; to it not necessarily indicating a trend. These data represent lives, families, and communities – the human toll – a loss for our nation and the threats to health that have grown more insidious over the past year. Furthermore, these data only partially illuminate the threats to perinatal outcomes, including maternal mortality, near-misses, fetal deaths, and stillbirths. Black and Brown visionaries, entrepreneurs, scholars, providers, and nurturers tell us again and again what works in uprooting the constant threats to health and wellbeing that all parents and families – and especially Black and Brown families – experience every day. These data must serve as a call to action. As a collective, how can we rise to the urgent needs of this moment?”
As leaders, experts, and advocates in MCH and public health, this is yet another reminder of the importance of coming together to address the inequities and injustices that are present across our communities with a sense of urgency.
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The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) is a national resource, partner, and advocate for state public health leaders and others working to improve the health of women, children, youth, families, and communities. AMCHP builds successful programs to serve its members by disseminating best practices; advocating on their behalf in Washington, DC; providing technical assistance; convening leaders to share experiences and ideas; and advising states about involving partners to reach our common goal of healthy children, healthy families, and healthy communities. For more information, visit www.amchp.org and follow AMCHP on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.
Please contact Caroline Stampfel (email@example.com) for questions or media requests.