EDITORIAL: A Healthy Trend on Infant Survival
Moore County enjoyed truly good news last week with the report that the infant mortality rate fell from 10.8 per 1,000 live births in 2007 to 6.9 in 2008.
Preservation of the newborn is a tribute to the high quality of health care available in Moore County, a community blessed with an outstanding hospital and some of the best medical professionals in the country.
As Health Director Robert Wittmann pointed out, the Moore County Health Department works collaboratively with health providers and community-based organizations to make sure appropriate care and education are available to pregnant women. It's a collaboration that certainly pays off.
Because the Sandhills is a big attraction to retirees, the county's population tends to be loaded with the 60-plus demographic. This does not produce growth in the birth rate, a factor that makes the decrease in infant mortality even more significant.
In a county such as Moore, percentages can shift easily with the slightest changes in statistics. We live in a nation that occasionally relies too heavily on comparative statistics, especially when it comes to finding a target for blame.
As for infant mortality, we need to focus on this positive trend and determine the reasons for success. At the heart of this success are such issues as superb pre-natal care and education about risk factors. If these things work, then we must continue the emphasis and renew the search for new ways to care for and educate families, especially women of childbearing age.
Moore County's future depends on new generations. The bedrock of the county's future is the arrival of babies who will bring vision and energy to invigorate the community. We cannot thrive on economic strengths alone but must build on the ideas of future generations whose cultural and technological focus we cannot even begin to imagine.
However, statistics and percentages are meaningless when a family is faced with the death of a baby, a precious life long anticipated and valued far beyond cold demographics. No one is prepared for such tragedy.
The Pilot congratulates the health care professionals for their success in bringing healthy babies into our midst and welcomes these babies to Moore County.
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