August 29, 2012

Missouri commits to reducing premature birth rates by 8 percent by 2014

As part of a continued commitment to giving Missouri's children a healthy start in life, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has set the goal of reducing the premature birth rate in Missouri by 8 percent by the year 2014.

The department will continue work to initiate, maintain and accelerate programs and policies that are aimed at reducing the premature birth rate. It will also take steps to build a wider awareness of Missouri's prematurity rates and other maternal-child health indicators.

"We know how important it is for Missouri's children to have the advantage of the healthiest start possible in life," said Director Margaret Donnelly. "That is why we are so supportive of programs and policies that can reduce premature births and infant mortality rates."

This commitment is part of an ongoing effort by the State of Missouri to promote healthy mothers and children. In 2011, Gov. Jay Nixon signed House Bill 555 which created the Missouri Task Force on Prematurity and Infant Mortality. This task force is seeking evidence-based and cost-effective approaches to reducing Missouri's preterm birth and infant mortality rates.

Together, these initiatives underscore Missouri's ongoing commitment to reduce the rate of premature births and infant mortality in Missouri.