Tag Archives: stress

Neighborhood and Community

By Annalise Robinson

In Kalamazoo, black babies are dying at a 4.5 times higher rate than white infants. When we ask the question, “ Why are black babies dying at a higher rate than white?” we must first note that 85 percent of black women giving birth in Kalamazoo County live in poverty. We must then examine the environments in which these mothers and infants reside. Because of the constraints of the segregated neighborhoods, access to adequate health care before, during, and after pregnancies is rare for black mothers in Kalamazoo. Many health and social work professionals in Kalamazoo have named several resources that are available to mothers, but these abundant resources in greater Kalamazoo are not reaching certain communities and neighborhoods for a number of reasons; the inability to access transportation, inadequate family care, and lack of a shared support system of the entire community in the greater Kalamazoo community, to only scratch the surface. Continue reading Neighborhood and Community

The Implementation of Increased Preventative Efforts and Comprehensive Sexual Education Programs

By Sean Bolourchi

In Kalamazoo, Black infants are dying at a rate of 4.5 times higher than White infants. The Community Action Initiative started by Grace Lubwama, CEO of the YWCA, hopes to reduce ethnic infant mortality to six by 2020. The Community Action Initiative looks to collaborate with community members and key stakeholders to help lower Black infant mortality. A Perionatal Periods of Risk Analysis (PPOR) conducted by Catherine Kothari and her research team, showed that the primary risk factor associated with Black infant mortality was maternal health, which is mother’s health before, during, and after pregnancy. Further analysis showed that the primary risk factor associated with maternal health was unplanned pregnancies. Teenage and unplanned pregnancies remain a huge public health burden, as the teenage pregnancy rate in Kalamazoo County is 47%. Currently, Michigan does not mandate sexual education to be implemented as a requirement to graduate, and schools that provide sexual education do not stress increased contraceptive use as part of the content for sexual education. In order to lower Black infant mortality rates, more emphasis is needed on providing comprehensive sexual education to the younger generation, and in order to ensure positive health outcomes for teenagers or women who have had unplanned pregnancies, increased efforts are needed on implementing family health clinics that provide psychological, mental and social support for woman. Continue reading The Implementation of Increased Preventative Efforts and Comprehensive Sexual Education Programs