COLUMBUS (WCMH) — African American babies are dying at twice the rate of Caucasian babies, according to the Ohio Department of Health. In 2014, Mayor Andrew Ginther created an initiative called “Celebrate One” to try and change those statistics.
The goal of “Celebrate One” is to lower infant mortality rate among African American babies and keep them healthy.
Right now, a lot of moms or expecting moms are working from home while some are furloughed or laid off making “Celebrate One” all the more important.
“It can be a little overwhelming,” said Danielle Lewis, a mother of six.
She found out about Celebrate One and immediately started using their resources.
”I think this program is very important in our city to pregnant moms, new moms and even moms who have been moms for awhile,” Lewis said.
Last year, African American babies accounted for nearly half of all infant deaths in the United States. “Celebrate One” is working to lower that number in Columbus, but council member Priscilla Tyson says it won’t happen overnight especially with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
“Our babies are in need of diapers, wipes and formula,” Tyson said. “We were running into shortages of diapers, wipes and formulas because people are going to the store buying everything.”
She says there are an incredible amount of disparities with the African American population, which still need to be addressed and added it’s important to consider the child after they are no longer an infant.
“It’s also how we help our girls before they become black women,” Tyson said.
“Celebrate One” continues to strive to reach its goal of lowering the infant mortality rate among African Americans while also securing items such as diapers and formula for those who need it the most.