Infant Mortality

Oklahoma City, OK – Health officials want lower infant deaths

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Oklahoma health officials are looking for new ways to improve the infant mortality rates in the state, particularly among African-Americans.

The Oklahoma State Health Department introduced a new statewide initiative and a Web site aimed at lowering the number of infant deaths. "Preparing for a Lifetime: It's Everyone's Responsibility" was featured at the Southwest Region Healthy Start Conference, which concluded Wednesday in Oklahoma City.

According to the state Health Department, Oklahoma's 8.0 deaths per 1,000 live births for 2006 is no better than the national average of 8.0 achieved more than 10 years ago. Officials say the infant mortality rate for blacks is 15.8 per 1,000.

Officials want to find new ways to reach out to African-Americans since past campaigns haven't produced a lower infant mortality rate.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.