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San Diego Initiative Looks To Improve Maternal And Infant Care For Black Families

San Diego County public health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten speaks at the county's operation center, Jan. 28, 2021.
Jacob Aere
San Diego County public health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten speaks at the county's operation center, Jan. 28, 2021.

San Diego County’s top maternal and infant health experts came together Thursday to launch Black Legacy Now. It's a campaign to improve health outcomes for moms and their babies in San Diego's Black community.

According to state data from 2013 through 2017, Black infants and Black pregnant mothers in San Diego County are roughly three times more likely to die due to childbirth complications than their white counterparts.

Dr. Wilma Wooten of the County’s Health and Human Services Agency said the new campaign should improve implicit health care biases towards Black mothers, as well as the high death rates for Black mothers and their children.

“These disparities mirror state and nation trends, are far higher for black mothers compared to racial and other ethic groups and persist regardless of protective factors such as the mothers income, education or prenatal care,” Wooten said.

RELATED: San Diego County Supervisors Declare Racism A Public Health Crisis

The county recently received additional funding from the state for perinatal initiatives after the governor authorized funding for the statewide Perinatal Equity Initiative in 2018. Dr. Wooten said the first step of the program is educating the public, which will be followed by community wide action.