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Picture of Alejandra Molina
Black infants in California and across the nation are dying at higher rates than infants of other races. Communities are responding to the disparity in different ways, with some forming groups to train more doulas of color.
Picture of Karen Bouffard

Nearly 500 Detroit children have died in homicides since 2000 — an average of nearly three dozen a year. Most were gun-related, and most were among children 14-18. Many youngsters just got in the way of a bullet intended for an adult, or for no one in particular.

Picture of Karen Bouffard

It’s impossible to say how much of a health risk illiteracy poses for Detroit children. But those working with Detroit parents say poor reading skills make it harder for parents to raise healthy kids, support families or prepare children with skills needed to enter school ready to learn.

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Women who have a cervix that is shorter than 25 mm, have a 70 percent greater risk of delivering their babies at less than 33 weeks of gestation. But research conducted in Detroit has uncovered a promising treatment for women with short cervixes -- vaginal progesterone.

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Mayor Mike Duggan said he’s well aware of Detroit’s infant mortality problem and to tackle it he will draw upon his experience as president and CEO of the Detroit Medical Center, a position he held from 2004 until he resigned to enter Detroit’s mayoral race.

Picture of Karen Bouffard

Since 1986, Detroit's Infant Mortality program has had more than 1,600 babies born and only five infant deaths with no maternal deaths. The majority of participants are African-American women between 16 and 27 years old, and 98 percent are single mothers living at or below the poverty line.

Picture of Karen Bouffard

More babies are born prematurely in Detroit than in any major city in the United States. Experts blame a confluence of health risks for Detroit’s high infant mortality rate, including inadequate health care, information, support and know-how by young mothers.

Picture of Karen Bouffard

Detroit kids through age 18 died at a rate of 120 per 100,000 children in 2010, the most recent year for which complete data is available. Detroit was the only city whose death rate among children topped 100 per 100,000; Philadelphia, at 95.7, was a distant second.

Picture of Karen Bouffard

Living in unsafe or poor neighborhoods can be stressful for children — stress that for some children is compounded by trauma. Early intervention is the key to minimizing the long-term impacts of chronic stress or trauma on children’s health.

Picture of William Heisel

Every 10 years, the government wants to ask you some questions. How you answer and how many of you answer makes a world of difference in how accurately researchers and policymakers are able to discern health trends and react appropriately.

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