To provide state leadership, in partnership with key stakeholders, to improve the physical and mental health, safety and well-being of the Oklahoma maternal and child health (MCH) population
|What Does This Measure? | Why Is This Important? | What Do the Results Tell Us? | What Actions Are We Taking?|
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The infant mortality rate is the number of infant deaths per 1,000 live births in a year. The death of a child before his or her first birthday is an infant death. The rates for 2011 and 2012 are preliminary.
The Oklahoma Department of Health report infant mortality rates to describe the occurrence of death to the state's most vulnerable population. The infant mortality rate is a key indicator of population or community health. By looking at rates, we can identify differences in infant deaths (for example, culture, poverty and race) and improve prevention efforts.
The information listed is a measure of economic growth and development, medical and public health practice, and overall quality of life. The rate of infant deaths in Oklahoma continues to exceed the national rate and most other states.
African American infants are twice as likely to die during the first year of life as white infants. American Indian infants also are more likely to die before their first birthday.
The top three causes of infant death in Oklahoma are very low birth weight/prematurity, birth defects of the heart and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Contributing to these top causes are tobacco use, obesity, limited access to preventive health care before a pregnancy, not taking a vitamin with folic acid before becoming pregnant, unsafe infant sleep conditions and poverty.
Prevention efforts to reduce infant deaths should include strategies to impact individual behaviors, provider and hospital-based activities, community awareness and policy.
Oklahoma has a statewide infant mortality initiative, "Preparing for a Lifetime, It's Everyone's Responsibility." This initiative, carried out through state and community-based partnerships, focuses on improving maternal and infant health through the priority areas of preconception/interconception health, prematurity, postpartum depression, tobacco, breast feeding, infant safe sleep, and infant injury prevention.
A multidisciplinary workgroup, comprised of internal and external partners, has been created to address each priority area. Each workgroup maintains a work plan with performance measures and action steps to achieve identified targets. Activities of the workgroups involve education and outreach to the general public and professionals, policy and systems changes, and services development. A variety of educational, multicultural products have been developed by the workgroups and are being used by hospitals, health professionals, faith-based organizations, businesses, etc.
Information on the initiative can be found at iio.health.ok.gov (Link opens in a new window).
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) played a pivotal role in the creation and expansion of the partnerships participating in the "Preparing for a Lifetime, It's Everyone’s Responsibility" initiative. Staff members serve as team leads or co-leads for each of the priority areas, convening workgroups and coordinating the implementation of work plans.
The OSDH serves the partnership through the provision of technical assistance, particularly regarding data collection, analysis, and recommendations on issues relevant to infant mortality. The OSDH also serves as the primary convener of the partners in order to share evidence-based practices that enhance the work of the initiative and help ensure reduction of Oklahoma's infant mortality rate to 7.2 by 2015.
For additional information regarding Infant Mortality Prevention programs please visit the OSDH website at www.ok.gov/health/ (Link opens in a new window).