Archive for the ‘ MCH ’ Category

We Fight, So Babies Don’t Have To!

Today is World Prematurity Day and our opportunity to focus everyone’s attention on the serious problem of premature birth. Join the National Healthy Start Association and its members in honoring the million babies worldwide who died this year because they were born too soon, and the 12 million more who struggle to survive.

We encourage you to wear purple today in honor of the babies that are born too soon and too small. Also, visit the World Prematurity page on Facebook and “LIKE IT. ” You  can read stories from around the world and share your own. Help spread the word by updating your Facebook status with a message on premature birth. Together we can raise awareness of this serious problem and help more babies start healthy lives. We fight to reduce prematurity because babies shouldn’t have to.

March of Dimes Kicks Off Prematurity Awareness Month

Today is Prematurity Awareness Day! This year the March of Dimes celebrates their 8th annual Prematurity Awareness Month.  And to kick off today, they released the 3rd annual Report Card on Preterm Birth Rates. This report gives the United States an overall grade and compares all 50 states and Puerto Rico’s rankings from last year to this year. Report Cards are based upon many health indicators which include preterm birth (percentage of births before 37 weeks), late preterm birth (percentage of births between 34 and 36 weeks), uninsured women, and women who smoke. The “grades” on each Report Card range from A-F with A being a preterm birth rate of less than or equal to 7.6 percent and an F being a preterm birth rate of greater than or equal to 13.2 percent.

To view the full report please visit:
March of Dimes 2010 Premature Birth Report Card

The U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin appeared today alongside March of Dimes President, Dr. Jennifer Howse, at an event in Washington DC. Dr. Benjamin will also appear in a Public Service Announcement which was shown at today’s event.

To view the PSA please visit:
Surgeon General PSA 60sec (View Windows Media Video)
Surgeon General PSA 30sec (View Windows Media Video)

Each year over half a million babies are born preterm and do not make it to their first birthday. Across the country today, March of Dimes volunteers and staff will be holding candlelight vigils to raise awareness and bring attention to the continuing problem of premature birth.

For local events or for more information on how to get involved please visit:
March of Dimes Local Chapters

The Knowledge Path MCH Resource Library’s Latest Edition: Infant Mortality and Pregnancy Loss

The Georgetown University Maternal and Child Health Library has just released a new edition of the knowledge path. The knowledge path was made for health professionals, policymakers, researchers, and families as a guide for people to find resources on data analysis, research reports, and program descriptions around one MCH topic. The newest edition of the Knowledge Path is all about Infant Mortality and Pregnancy Loss. In this edition, readers can find resources to intervention strategies, attempts at lowering risk, bereavement support groups, and research on finding out the causes of infant mortality and pregnancy loss. Other sections feature resources on factors that contribute to infant mortality and pregnancy loss like birth defects, injuries, low birthweight and prematurity, and ways to lower the risk of infant mortality and pregnancy loss like preconception care, pregnancy and safe sleep environments.

To view the Knowledge Path online click http://www.mchlibrary.info/KnowledgePaths/kp_infmort.html.

A resource brief for families accompanies the Knowledge Path and is available at http://www.mchlibrary.info/families/frb_infmort.html.

The Maternal and Child Health Library provides access to current, accurate information from a full range of MCH topics. The library offers a variety of electronic resources including the MCH Alert, resource guides, databases, and other materials specifically developed for professionals and families. To view the library online, go to http://mchlibrary.info.

MCH Alert is a weekly electronic newsletter that offers the latest references to research, policy developments, recently released publications, new programs, and initiatives affecting the MCH community. To view and subscribe to MCH Alert, you can visit http://www.mchlibrary.info/alert/index.html.

Health Reform for Women’s Health

On Tuesday, June 24, 2010, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, spoke to the National Partnership for Women and Families about how the Affordable Care Act will not only benefit women and provide for their full range of health needs, but also break barriers as “the best women’s health bill since Medicare.” Secretary Sebelius noted particular provisions that will impact women’s health, including the ban on supplemental charges for women’s health services; the law that all new insurance plans must cover essential health benefits like newborn care and maternity care; and the elimination of co-pays for key preventive services like pap smears and mammograms. To read Secretary Sebelius’ comments, please visit http://www.hhs.gov/secretary/about/speeches/sp20100624.html
(U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services Daily Digest Bulletin; June 25, 2010)

National Infant Immunization Week

April 24 to May 1 is National Infant Immunization Week. The Centers for Disease Control has a website page devoted to the promotion of this week, as well as useful information on events and activities.

Outstanding progress has been made in immunization rates for children younger than two years old. Immunization coverage rates in the United States for vaccines routinely recommended for infants and young children remain at or near record highs. For example, rates for measles, rubella, and three doses of Hib and Hep B are greater than 90 percent. However, there is still much work to be done.

Over one million children in the United States are not adequately immunized and each day nearly 12,000 children are born and each in need of protection from diseases. Thousands of lives are in jeopardy from vaccine-preventable diseases, and hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent on the care of disease stricken children whose illnesses could have been avoided. National and community organizations and health departments can play an important role in ensuring that all our children are appropriately immunized by the age of two. Healthcare providers need to actively communicate with parents and caregivers about immunization, especially when improvements in vaccines result in changes to the immunization schedule.

Parents and caregivers need to know that their children can and will be protected against many childhood diseases. During National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) and Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA), efforts are made in hundreds of communities around the United States and throughout the Western Hemisphere to increase awareness of the importance of immunization and to achieve immunization goals.

Learn more on the CDC’s website for National Infant Immunization Week.

Man Up for Your Health!

Healthy Men Move Our Communities Forward

As an annual celebration of National Minority Health Month, in 2010 the Office of Minority Health is promoting men’s health, with the theme Man Up for Your Health! Healthy Men Move Our Communities Forward.

A glance at some sobering statistics:

  • 55 percent of Latino men and 45 percent of African American men do not have a doctor they see regularly
  • In 2005, all men were 30 percent more likely to be uninsured for the previous year, as compared to women
    • Within this group, African American men were 75 percent more likely to be uninsured than White men, and Hispanic men were almost three times more likely to be without health insurance
  • For the first time in 2007 the life expectancy for black males reached 70 years, however that is still 5.3 years less than the general population
  • Black men have higher death rates than women for all the leading causes of death
  • Black men have higher rates of prostate cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke and other chronic illnesses
  • Men are employed in the most dangerous occupations, such as mining, fire fighting, construction, and fishing
  • Society discourages healthy behaviors in men and boys
  • Men may have less healthy lifestyles including risk-taking at younger ages
  • Among the causes of death for white males, homicide is not even in the top ten; however it is ranked number 5 for black men and number 6 for Latinos
    • For young black men 15-35 years of age, homicide is the number one cause of death, for Hispanics, it’s number two

OMH monthly e-newsletter Healthy Minorities, Healthier America highlights important information such as Popular Men’s Health Topics, medical screenings, resources for organizations, downloadable posters and upcoming events. If you have not already done so, we encourage you to subscribe to OMH monthly publications or help get the word out by sharing this information with your constituents.

View latest edition: http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/templates/browse.aspx?lvl=3&lvlid=297

To subscribe OMH e-newsletter: http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/templates/browse.aspx?lvl=2&lvlid=48

or through Gov delivery:  https://service.govdelivery.com/service/multi_subscribe.html?code=USOPHSOMH

You can follow OMH on Twitter at http://twitter.com/omhgov

– circulated by the Office of Minority Health

Text4Baby Launches Today: NHSA Announced as an Outreach Partner

Today was a great day in the world of maternal and child health! A historic day as well with the launch of Text4Baby, a free mobile health service for soon-to-be moms and new moms.

A partnership between the technology industry, government and the health community, Text4Baby is an educational program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB) that will  deliver timely health tips via text message to those who need it most.  Partners include the White House Office on Science and Technology Policy, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Voxiva, CTIA-The Wireless Foundation, Grey Healthcare Group (a WPP company) and founding corporate sponsor Johnson & Johnson.  Premier sponsors include WellPoint, Pfizer and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and wireless carriers are distributing text messages at no charge to recipients.  Implementation partners include BabyCenter, Danya International, Syniverse Technologies, Keynote Systems and The George Washington University.

This is a great opportunity to not only showcase the success of public-private partnerships, but also demonstrate how utilizing technology can help mothers and pregnant women make informed decisions about their health and the healthy of their baby.  Text4Baby is going to be critical to the health of our country for so many reasons:

  • By using text messaging on cell phones, this partnership uses a technology that has already been widely adopted. Research shows that 90 percent of Americans have a mobile phone, and texting is more prevalent among women of childbearing age and minority populations who face higher infant mortality rates.
  • It provides the information moms need to keep themselves and their babies healthy. These are short messages, but incredibly important.  The messages focus on topics critical to the health of moms and babies, including immunization, nutrition, seasonal flu, mental health, smoking and alcohol, oral health, and safe sleep.
  • It could help save lives and reduce the number of premature births in America. More than 500,000 babies – 1 in every 8 – are born prematurely each year in the US.  Premature babies can face lifelong health and intellectual development problems.  The risk of premature birth can be reduced if moms take care of themselves and their babies during pregnancy (e.g. don’t smoke!) and seek prenatal care.  Text4Baby can help by giving moms information and connecting them to care.
  • It could save America money on health care costs. This free service could save us money by ensuring moms are connected to health knowledge and services as early as possible.  Catching problems early can help avoid expensive and potentially harmful complications at birth and in the first year of life.  This helps families as well – the average first year medical costs for premature babies are about 10 times greater than for full-term babies.

The National Healthy Start Association is proud to be one of the many outreach partners for this Initiative including the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, March of Dimes, American Public Health Association, National Association of County and City Health Officials,  National WIC Association and Postpartum Support International.

We just ask that you spread the word about Text4Baby and encourage women you know to sign up on the website (www.text4baby.org) for free or text BABY to 511411!