Local clinic works to draw attention to infant mortality rates
SOUTH BEND, Ind. --
September is National Infant Mortality Awareness Month, and one local clinic is working to show the community just how real the problem is in the African American community.
Community Wellness Partners in South Bend has put up a display to visualize the issue. In the front lawn there are 107 onesies to represent the 107 African American babies that have died from 2012 to 2016.
"We chose the onesie because it represents babies at their most vulnerable state," said Kelli Brien, the maternal child health coordinator at Community Wellness Partners. "The awareness event is to make sure that people in the community know that African American babies are dying at a higher rate than all other babies."
Brien says the high death rate isn't an issue of education or money. Rather its an issue of inequity. She hopes the display will send a message to the community and to mothers.
"I want them to think about what's going on in the community that needs to be talked about. I want them to think about the mothers and the families that are affected, and to know that this is happening right underneath all of our noses and there's something that we can do. We can advocate for each other and teach each other how to advocate for ourselves," said Brien.
The display will remain in the front lawn for the entire month of September.
Community Wellness Center will also host an event for mothers who have lost an infant on September 28. It is called "Forever Mom."