September is Infant Mortality Awareness Month and Duval County has the highest rate of infant mortality in the State of Florida. Social scientist generally acknowledge that Infant mortality and life expectancy are key indicators of general well-being in a society.
Last weekend, District 13 State Rep Tracie Davis partnered with Magnolia Project to do their part to turn this statistic around. Davis and Magnolia held a community baby shower in the heart of the city on Pearl Street.
The event was focused on women currently pregnant or with a new baby up to two months old living in zip codes 32202, 04, 06, 09, 19, and 54. The partnership’s goal is to assist expecting and newborn moms with the care and life skills support to deliver a healthy baby.
Hundreds of pregnant mothers and families enjoyed a day of perusing vendor booths and collecting information on healthy food choices, wellness, hygiene care and cultural and social service needs. Participating organizations included: area nonprofits, dentist offices, domestic violence shelters, churches and police and firemen. Each vendor distributed informational packets and directly talked to attendees about the services they offer the community.
With a rate of 7.4 deaths per 1000 live births, the region remains higher than the state (6.1 deaths) and nation (5.8 deaths). Duval County, the population center of the region, continues to drive the region’s infant mortality rate with 8.4 deaths per 1000 live births.“For a second year in a row, it has been my pleasure to surround these families with love, opportunity and encouragement,” said Rep. Davis.