Baton Rouge group announces partnership to raise infant mortality awareness

Healthy Start Program working to help infants grow up

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The celebration of a child's first birthday may seem like a given, but sadly it is not for many in Louisiana. In particular, for infants born to a teenaged

Celebrate Day 366…Every Baby Deserves a Chance is a campaign developed by the National Healthy Start Association. Family Road of Greater Baton Rouge's Healthy Start Program announced a partnership to increase the chances of those infants being able to grow up.

In recognition of September being Infant Mortality Awareness Month, several community partners made donations to Family Road of GBR in hopes of gaining positive results. Community partners include Metropolitan Health, The Law Office of Ossie Brown, Lamar Advertising and Whitney Bank.

Young girls or women with an unplanned pregnancy are certain to turn their life in a whole new direction. Data from 2013 in East Baton Rouge Parish shows
71 infants did not reach their first birthday. That number was 549 infant deaths statewide that year.

The brutal fact is Louisiana ranks second nationally in the number of infants who do not survive to the age of one. Family Road of GBR is often one of the few places pregnant mothers, often teenagers, can turn for help and education.

Car seats will be provided to expectant moms and parents as long as they complete an education course at Family Road of GBR to equip them with basic skills they may otherwise not get.

Dena Christy, Executive Director of Family Road, and Karla Sayer Wilburn of FR's Healthy Start Program announced the partnership at a news conference. It was also revealed that they've received a $3.5 million gr ant for the next five years to continue their work teaching parental and life skills to those in need in all of East Baton Rouge Parish.

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