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Detroit campaign aims to reduce rate of preterm births

Lester Graham
Michigan Radio

Detroit officials are launching a new effort to reduce the rate of preterm births in the city. The rate of premature births in Detroit is 18%, among the highest in the world.

The city, Wayne State University and Detroit’s leading health systems are working together on the effort called Make Your Date.

Mayor Mike Duggan outlined how the program simplifies the way pregnant women can find prenatal care.

“We got a single website: makeyourdate.org,  a single phone number: 313-577-1000. If you are a pregnant woman and you don’t have insurance, you are eligible. Call that number and we will get you signed up,” Mayor Duggan explained.

Women who sign up will get help to connect with doctors and other services to help them carry their babies to full term.

Studies indicate low birth weight accounts for almost 50% of Detroit’s infant mortality rate, which is twice the national average.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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