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Thompson: Infant mortality rate threatened

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In a rare breath of good news, the governor’s office announced last week that North Carolina’s infant mortality rate in 2010 was the lowest in the state’s history. Fewer families endured the indescribable pain of losing a young child, a significant accomplishment for a state with a very poor track record preventing infant deaths. Unfortunately, the budget passed by state legislators last summer will likely undermine progress, particularly for eastern North Carolina and African-American families.

In 1988, North Carolina had the worst infant mortality rate in the country. Prodded by the shame of such a distinction, Republican Gov. Jim Martin and the Democratic state Legislature teamed up to implement a variety of public health programs to improve health outcomes for pregnant women and young children.

North Carolina’s infant mortality rate is now much closer to the middle of the pack in relation to the other 49 states.

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Bless your heart
Bless your heart