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Infant mortality is characterized as the death of infants under the age of twelve months, while infant mortality is the death rate of infants per 1000 live births (Rossen & Schoendorf, 2014). Generally, the rate of child mortality is a vital marker of a society's public health. In the year 2015, over 23,000 child deaths in the United States were caused by multiple health issues (Kochanek et al., 2014). Getting such figures also makes it possible to compare the rate of child mortality, thereby enabling the effectiveness of public health interventions to be measured and analyzed.There are three significant measures of infant mortality namely; infant mortality, birth cohort, and death cohorts. The differences in the measures come from factors like whether the count of newborn deaths is deliberated from the deaths of infants during a specific time period or the death numbers among children who were born during a particular period of time, denominator used in rate calculation and loss of cases at the time death and birth files are linked (Mathews & Driscoll 2016). With infant mortality, the count of newborn deaths is provided during a year regardless of the year of birth. Individual child death records have no linkage to birth files. The birth numbers in that year are utilized as the denominator. However, with birth cohort death of infant records are linked to the records of birth to help in analyzing the characteristics of newborns and mother. The linked file is completed at the end of the calendar year. Death cohort also called period file has the same concise definition as infant mortality but the individual records of infant death are linked to the records of birth (MacDorman et al., 2014). The rate of infant mortality that is calculated is enough at the level of state but comes less accurate for the smaller area.
The sector of Maternal and Child Health is showing commitment in decreasing health disparities in the population they serve that is the state, nation and the whole world. In the United States rates of infant mortality by race and ethnicity in the year 2015 showed high deaths with non-Hispanic black infants (11.3) and low deaths with Pacific Islander infants (4.2) (Rossen & Schoendorf, 2014). However, some of the factors that contribute to infant mortality are injuries, birth defects, preterm death among others (MacDorman et al., 2014). Injuries are an environmental factor that can cause the death of young children and can be easily protected. Some of the injuries include burning, drowning, poisoning, road accidents, suffocation just to mention a few. Birth defects are the structural alteration in parts of the body. They affect development and also the functional ability of the child. Some of the examples of birth defects are Spina Bifida, Upper and lower limb Reduction among others. On the other hand, preterm death occurs when a child is delivered before the 37 weeks of pregnancy. A growing child in the womb requires even the last week to fully develop some parts like the brain, liver, and lungs therefore when a child is born early he/she can die or have serious problems. For example, In the year 2013 United States about 36% of dead infants were caused by preterm death (Rossen & Schoendorf, 2014). Preterm death can be reduced by quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol, getting prenatal care in time, birth spacing and seeking medical attention in case of signs of preterm labor.
In conclusion, agencies of public health need to work with communities and providers of health care to reduce this rate of infant mortality in the US. This union can help in addressing behavioral, social and health risk factors that led to newborn mortality.
Kochanek, K. D., Murphy, S. L., Xu, J., & Arias, E. (2014). Mortality in the united states, 2013.
MacDorman, M. F., Mathews, T. J., Mohangoo, A. D., & Zeitlin, J. (2014). International comparisons of infant mortality and related factors: United States and Europe, 2010.
Mathews, T. J., & Driscoll, A. K. (2016). Trends in infant mortality in the United States, 2005-2014.
Rossen, L. M., & Schoendorf, K. C. (2014). Trends in racial and ethnic disparities in infant mortality rates in the United States, 1989–2006. American journal of public health, 104(8), 1549-1556.
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