Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative
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- Healthy Beginnings Healthy Families: Infant Health
Infant Mortality Awareness
Governor Tim Walz proclaimed the week of September 11-17, 2023 as: Infant Mortality Awareness Week.
WHEREAS: Infant mortality is the death of a liveborn infant before age one; and
WHEREAS: The infant mortality rate—the number of infant deaths per 1,000 babies born alive—is an important measure of the health and well-being of a population; and
WHEREAS: On average, 330 infants die in the state every year, which is enough children to fill approximately 17 kindergarten classrooms in any given year; and
WHEREAS: Minnesota’s overall infant mortality rate of 4.8 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2021 is lower than the national average. However, disparities, especially for African American and American Indian families are evident, persistent, and a significant public health issue; and
WHEREAS: Parents and families strive to overcome systemic racism and discrimination against Black/African American, American Indian, and other people of color, those injustices directly contribute to inequities in infant mortality; and
WHEREAS: Infants born to American Indian and African American mothers have historically died at more than two times the rate of infants born to white mothers; and
WHEREAS: All babies born in Minnesota deserve a healthy start and opportunities to survive, thrive, and develop to their fullest potential; and
WHEREAS: Infant mortality is a multi-factorial, complex societal problem that requires a response from across many sectors and disciplines to address conditions that negatively affect birth outcomes. Maternal health and wellbeing before, during, and after pregnancy, is impacted by housing and job insecurity, environmental toxins, lack of social support and community connections, and a lack of access to health care; and
WHEREAS: The death of any infant before reaching his or her first birthday is one too many.
WHEREAS: Infant Mortality Awareness Week provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations, government entities, health care systems, community partners, and coalitions to promote awareness and education about infant mortality.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, TIM WALZ, Governor of Minnesota, do hereby proclaim the week of September 11-17, 2023 as:
Infant Mortality Awareness Week in the State of Minnesota.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Minnesota to be affixed at the State Capitol this 8th day of September.