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Doing Good

Tanzima Chowdhury
Social Entrepreneur & Activist
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piqer: Tanzima Chowdhury
Tuesday, 31 July 2018

New York City Launches Initiative To Eliminate Racial Disparities In Maternal Mortality

The United States has the highest rate of maternal mortality for an industrialized nation as 700 to 900 women, especially women of color, die each year from issues related to pregnancy and childbirth. In New York City, the racial disparity is the highest across the country as black mothers are more likely to face complications in maternal health than white mothers. 

ProPublica's done a series on "Lost Mothers", and in this collaboration with NPR, they featured the Central Brooklyn hospital, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, as an example of having the "starkest racial disparities in hospitals" among three states (Florida, Illinois and New York) with "one of the highest complications rates for hemorrhage in the city." (For more on their data, click here.)

In an example of solution-oriented journalism, I have been monitoring the series on "Lost Mothers" here, and the partnerships among the media outlets to bring maternal health to the fore have begun to result in national action: "Over the past few months, the U.S. Senate has proposed $50 million in funding to reduce maternal deaths, and several states have launched review committees to examine birth outcomes."

Although the discussion has gained momentum thanks to the "Lost Mothers" series, much more needs to be done in terms of implementation and evaluation to promote equal accessibility and opportunity within maternal health, particularly for women of color. However, it is pivotal to see that reforms are taking place as in the case of New York City:

Over the next three years, the city will spend $12.8 million on the initiative, with the goal of eliminating the black-white racial disparity in deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth and cutting the number of complications in half within five years.


New York City Launches Initiative To Eliminate Racial Disparities In Maternal Mortality
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