Detroit is trying to do more to prevent premature births and infant deaths. The city outlined the new plan Wednesday.
Detroit’s infant mortality rate dropped 9% from 2010 to 2015. But it’s still twice as high as Michigan’s rate as whole. Only Muskegon, Pontiac, Saginaw, Eastpointe and Highland Park are higher, according to a report released earlier this month.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says a program that connects expectant moms with resources that are already available, especially prenatal care, is making “a significant difference.” Now the city is expanding that program and through a new partnership, is starting a new one that will offer free Lyft rides to get women to those doctor appointments.
“This partnership is an important step in making sure every mother has the resources and medical care they need to have a healthy baby,” Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun, executive director of the Detroit Health Department said in a written statement.
They’re also recruiting volunteers to mentor pregnant women up to, during and after the birth of their babies to improve health outcomes.
“Having a social support system and resources is so important to having a healthy baby,” Khaldun said. The mentoring program recently received a $2 million grant for training volunteers, community outreach, and professional development.