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University of Wisconsin–Madison
Poverty-related issues in the news, from the Institute for Research on Poverty

Infant Mortality Rate – Milwaukee, WI

  • For Milwaukee’s children, an early grave, By Crocker Stephenson, January 22, 2011, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “On a bitter January afternoon, a 22-year-old mother sits on the edge of her bed and feeds her infant daughter. The child, Rashyia, born in December, is healthy. She coos, eyes closed. She touches her mother’s cheek with her perfect hand. Rashyia and her mother, Lakisha Stinson, live in a small attic apartment on Milwaukee’s near north side. Three modest rooms. The kitchen has just three chairs and a table that is missing its glass top. The living room has no furniture. The bedroom has a bed and a Pack ‘n Play crib, a gift from Wheaton Franciscan-St. Joseph’s Hospital, whose staff, nurses and doctors brought Rashyia through a high-risk pregnancy and into the world. Rashyia and her mother live in a neighborhood where the rate at which African-American babies, such as Rashyia, die during their first year of life is worse than Botswana. Public health experts have long considered the infant mortality rate to be an essential indicator of a community’s well-being…”
  • It takes a community to keep babies alive, Editorial, January 22, 2011, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Milwaukee’s littlest children are dying at appalling rates – rates that are among the worst in the country; rates that rival the world’s poorest nations. These are babies who never live to blow out their first birthday candle – three-quarters of them dead before they are a month old. They are babies such as the little boy born prematurely to Denelle McManus in January 2007. Denelle was in good health; she had good prenatal care; she didn’t smoke or drink. She was 32 years old when she lost her child. The boy, named Tavion, lived eight days before dying of a heart condition. Denelle’s mother, Patricia McManus, is chief executive of the Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin. An expert in urban issues, McManus has worked 30 years to reduce Milwaukee’s infant mortality rate and now believes that it will take a communitywide effort to save these children, an effort that is beginning to take shape with McManus as one of the leaders…”