Oklahoma’s infant mortality rate has decreased, health officials say

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma’s infant mortality rate has decreased by more than 15 percent since 2007, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Health officials say the state’s infant mortality rate decreased by 17 percent since 2007.

“As we experience progress in eight of nine primary measures, including breastfeeding rates, infant safe sleep practices and prenatal care, we are encouraged by the reduction in infant mortality,” said Joyce Marshall, director of the OSDH Maternal and Child Health Service. “We acknowledge that there is still work to be done to achieve the national IMR of 5.9.”

According to the health department, the decrease is thanks to a statewide initiative, “Preparing for a Lifetime, It’s Everyone’s Responsibility,” as well as improvements in priorities, including a decrease in the rate of teen birthdays and a reduction in smoking rates among pregnant women.

September is Infant Mortality Awareness Month, and the Preparing for a Lifetime initiative will celebrate its 10th anniversary.

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