Curbing infant mortality is a local imperative, which should make renewing a federally funded $1 million state grant for the Healthy Babies program a high priority for the Sedgwick County Commission at Wednesday’s meeting. The rate of infant deaths in Sedgwick County continues to be higher than the state and national averages, with the rate among African-Americans three times that of whites (as of 2012 data). That makes the problem the business of the County Commission, which doubles as the county board of health. The Healthy Babies program’s in-home visits, counseling, outreach and advocacy about prenatal and infant care can help Sedgwick County women through pregnancy and that crucial first year of a baby’s life. – Rhonda Holman
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