Nick Saban speaks out about infant mortality in Alabama
Alabama has the second highest rate of infant mortality in the United States and Nick Saban wants to do something about it.
According to the Alabama Department of Public Health in 2016, 537 infants died in Alabama, resulting in 9.1 infant deaths per 1,000 live births compared to the U.S. average of 5.9 infant deaths per 1,000 births.
“The loss of even one of these infants is a tragedy we can help prevent. Join the winning team and become a champion for reducing infant mortality in alabama help us help all babies reach their first birthday,” Saban said in a video produced by ADPH.
The leading causes of infant death in Alabama are birth defects, preterm birth and or low birth weight and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
The State of Alabama Infant Mortality Reduction Plan released in June 2018, will focus on nurse visitation programs, safe sleep initiatives and screen mothers to identify substance use, depression and domestic violence.
“There are several things the public can do,” Janice Smiley, the ADPH paranatal health division director, said. “They can educate themselves, especially women and men of childbearing age about the impact of being healthy before they get pregnant. Also they can understand that once the baby is born that the baby is always sleeping in a safe environment.”
“If we can improve birth outcomes, that would be improving Alabama as a whole because for every infant that dies, the families are impacted and the communities are impacted,” Smiley said “We are at a point where we can not afford to be the worst state in the nation for infant mortality. We’ve got to make some changes.”