From 2010 to 2018, “Our black infant mortality rate has increased from 11.7 to 15.1 deaths for every 1,000 babies born,” Hannah Legerton told Buncombe County commissioners on Dec. 3. That means that black babies in Buncombe County are four times as likely to die before their first birthday as white babies. And since infant mortality is a leading indicator of population health, health officials say, those numbers bode poorly for the wellbeing of African American county residents. Collaborative efforts are seeking to address the underlying issues driving inequities in health outcomes.
While 12.7 African American babies die during the first year of life per 1,000 live births on average in North Carolina, that number is 19.6 per 1,000 in Buncombe County. Moreover, the county’s rate has doubled since 2012, when it was 9.8 per 1,000.
“The only way we can ensure that everyone has the opportunity to achieve optimal health is to work together with a shared and well-coordinated commitment to improving our community’s health.”
A new health assessment for Buncombe County shows an increase in the number of infant deaths, deaths from complications of diabetes and incidences of opiate overdoses. The 2015 Community Health Assessment Report, released last week, also details how to address these and other health problems in the county. The assessment is performed in each county […]