Mahoning County’s black infant mortality rate in 2016 was 16.9 per 1,000 live births

Staff report


A forum Friday will discuss strategies on how men can work together and in their communities to reduce the infant-mortality rate and build awareness of the growing rate of infant deaths in the black community.

The event, “A Community of Committed Men, Protecting Tomorrow’s Future,” is sponsored by Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., Baby 1st Network and the Global Infant Safe Sleep Center. It will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at New Bethel Baptist Church, 1507 Hillman St.

Each year in the United States, nearly 13,000 black babies die before their first birthday – two times more than white babies – from a variety of causes including miscarriage, stillbirth, suffocation and sudden infant death syndrome.

In 2016, Mahoning County’s infant-death rate for blacks was 16.9 per 1,000 live births, compared with 6.1 for white babies.

“To help reverse the trend of the increasing rate of black infant mortality, African-American men must mobilize,” said Ben McGee, a retired educator and member of the Youngstown Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.

Research indicates that the meaningful and ongoing involvement of men in the lives of babies and children can contribute to the reduction of poor birth outcomes, McGee said.

For information, call Karla Coleman at 248-978-3280, or email

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