• By Todd Luck
  • Posted Monday, October 7, 2019

Walk a Mile to Save Our Babies brings awareness to infant mortality

A long line of participants pushed 43 empty baby strollers through the streets of downtown Winston-Salem on September 19 to bring awareness to infant mortality in Forsyth County.

Approximately 130 people from more than 10 organizations attended the 10th Annual Walk a Mile to Save Our Babies Event, which was hosted by the Forsyth County Infant Mortality Reduction Coalition. The event coincided with Infant Mortality Awareness Month in September and the 43 empty strollers each represented an infant life that was lost in Forsyth County in 2017.

“When we lose an infant, it’s a loss of the future,” said Public Health Director Joshua Swift.

Swift said the Department of Public Health is dedicated to reducing infant mortality. Its efforts include diversifying clinic hours to meet varied schedules, broadening coordinated referrals for case management programs, increasing participation in classes, improving the dissemination of health information, providing folic acid and other resources to mothers to prevent birth defects, and acquiring additional funding for Safe Sleep and Cribs for Kids to reduce unsafe sleep practices.

County Commissioners Gloria Whisenhunt and Fleming El-Amin, who both serve on the Consolidated Human Services Board, said there is still work to be done to reduce the county’s infant mortality rate and praised local efforts to help improve pregnancy outcomes.

“Your involvement reflects a strong commitment to ensure that all babies are born healthy and have a strong beginning,” said Whisenhunt.

The walk began and ended at Goler Memorial AME Zion Church, which held a luncheon afterwards that included updates on local infant mortality prevention efforts by Ann Smith, Director of Women’s Services at Novant Health as well as Dr. Pamela Oliver, OBGYN- President of Novant Health’s Physician Network and Chair of Forsyth County’s Infant Mortality Reduction Coalition. The Coalition’s primary initiative will focus on safe sleep awareness and SIDS risk reduction.

For more information about the Forsyth County Infant Mortality Reduction Coalition and infant mortality prevention, visit www.helpourbabies.org.

For photos from the event, click here.

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