The Snyder Administration has outlined its plan to reduce infant mortality in Michigan, but some say the plan needs more state funding to work.
At seven in every 1,000 live births, Michigan’s infant mortality rate is slightly higher than the national average. The Snyder administration is proposing an eight point plan to reduce infant mortality, including improving prenatal care, promoting safer infant sleeping practices and expanding abstinence education in schools.
“The state of Michigan will prioritize activities and resources towards the highest risk communities, which will allow us to create a movement toward eliminating disparities that exist,” says Olga Dazzo, the director of the state Department of Community Health.
The plan was unveiled in Flint. State officials say they will rely partly on federal and private grant funding to pay for the program.
A group that represents Michigan hospitals and doctors supports the plan, but says it does not include enough dedicated funding from the state.
“The governor has made infant mortality a leading health issue in the state. And yet, very few direct, dedicated resources have been given to this project,” says Amy Zaagman, executive director of the Michigan Council for Maternal and Child Health.
Zaagman says the state has sharply cut funding to health education in schools and family planning clinics which promote contraception.
The group also notes the plan calls for expensive diagnostic procedures to identify high risk pregnancies, but could do more to promote less expensive contraception programs.