High infant mortality rates not from personal choices, OSU experts tell Youngstown crowd

The Youngstown Vindicator

That systems and institutions affect peoples lives more than individual choices, especially as it applies to infant mortality, was a major takeaway from the Youngstown Minority Health Month Conference.

The conference, “Why are Our Babies Dying,” sponsored by the Youngstown Office of Minority Health, was Thursday at Tabernacle Baptist Church on Arlington Avenue.

Main speakers were legal analysts, Attys. Charles W. Noble II and Kwame O. Christian, both affiliated with the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University.

To improve the infant-mortality rate, the percentage of babies who don’t live until their first birthdays, it is necessary to change the socioeconomic systems that originally created segregation and led to areas with poor educational opportunities and high crime rates. Those are the areas that also produce high infant-mortality rates, they said.

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The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity was established in 2003 as a center for interdisciplinary research at The Ohio State University. The Kirwan Institute works to create a just and inclusive society where all people and communities have opportunity to succeed.