Infant mortality is one of the most critical indicators of the overall health of a population. An infant death or pregnancy loss is a signal that there may be problems within a community. Many factors such as family history, personal health history, diet, environment, lifestyle, and poor access to quality health and social services are known to contribute to infant mortality. While infant mortality rates in Maryland have declined (Infant Mortality in Maryland 2011), disparities persist and work remains to be done.
As the lead State agency charged with reducing infant mortality, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) has continued efforts to help Maryland turn the curve and move forward on this important public health problem. DHMH staff met with Community Pediatricians, sought public input through a web-based survey, and convened an Infant Mortality Epidemiology Work Group, comprised of experts in the field of infant mortality, to provide state-specific recommendations for reducing infant mortality (see Infant Mortality Epidemiology Work Group Report for more information). Ideas obtained through this public input process were used to inform the development of a new, Updated Plan for Reducing Infant Mortality in Maryland, which will continue to guide Maryland's efforts and can be accessed at the link above.
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