Truth Puke’s Takeaway: Philadelphian pregnant women will receive $1,000 per month from the third month of their pregnancy until their child’s first birthday as part of a pilot program to reduce infant mortality rates. Philadelphia Joy Bank, a pilot program, will launch in three neighborhoods with the highest rates of low birth weight babies. Dr. Stacey Kallem, who is in charge of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s Division of Maternal, Child, and Family Health, announced the program at a press conference on Monday. She said that participants would be treated with respect and given the freedom to decide how to use the money to improve their own health and that of their babies. Research has demonstrated that providing cash payments to pregnant women can significantly improve birth outcomes, including low birth weight and prematurity – two factors linked to infant mortality. Pennsylvania currently has the lowest fertility rates in ten years, while Hispanic and Asian infant mortality rates are rising.
In Pennsylvania, one in ten infants were born prematurely and one in twelve were underweight in 2021. The decline in birth rates over this time has been most prominent among non-Hispanic Blacks, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islanders; it has been more stable among non-Hispanic White women. Race/ethnic disparities regarding birth outcomes by race and ethnicity are large and alarming; 15% of non-Hispanic Black babies are underweight – 30% higher than their citywide average – while 76% Black people, 9% Hispanic people, and 3% Asian people experienced birth outcomes similar to what America experienced with 5.4 infant deaths per 1,000 live births over the twenty years prior to 2021. America also has an infamous track record when it comes to childbirth statistics; 13.8 deaths per 100,000 live births from 2000 – 23.8 deaths per 100,000 births overall.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE BELOW: CAITLIN TILLEY, HEALTH REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
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