Fighting infant mortality still tough in Memphis


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The infant mortality rate in Memphis has risen after two years of significant decline, illustrating the challenge faced by health officials, hospitals and community leaders who are trying to reduce the number of babies who die before their first birthday.

The health department in Shelby County, which includes Memphis, reports that the infant mortality rate in 2012 was 10.6 babies per 1,000 live births.

That's up from 9.6 per 1,000 live births in 2011 and 10.3 per 1,000 live births the year before, though not as high as the nearly 15 babies per 1,000 live births reported by the county 11 years ago.

Infant mortality is considered an indicator of the health of a community. Many programs are designed to make pregnant mothers healthier and protect the lives of babies.

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