Ohio Department of Health receives grants to address maternal mortality

(Ohio) – Grants totaling $12.2 million have been awarded to the Ohio Department of Health to address the issue of maternal mortality in the Buckeye state.

Grant funding comes amid the release of the ODH’s first comprehensive reporting on pregnancy-associated maternal deaths. The research focuses on the time span of 2008 to 2017, which officials say is a microcosm of a national trend that shows the rate of pregnancy-related maternal deaths has more than doubled since 1987. That is according to the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

More than $10 million of the grant funding comes from the HRSA over the course of five years. These dollars are to be specifically used to support maternal mortality prevention. According to a press release issued by the ODH, the funding will be used to establish a maternal health task force and to create “a plan to prevent and reduce preventable maternal deaths.”

$2.2 million comes from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over that same time span of 5 years. These dollars, according to the release, will be used for ODH to continue its Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review program.

Key findings from the ODH’s maternal mortality report include:

  • Between 2008 and 2016, there were 186 pregnancy-related deaths of Ohio women
  • Leading underlying causes of maternal mortality include heart conditions, infections, severe bleeding, pre-eclampsia and eclampsia
  • 57% of pregnancy-related deaths between 2012 and 2016 could have been prevented
  • Between 2008 and 2016, the ratio of pregnancy-related deaths was 14 to every 100,000 live births.
  • Ohio’s 11.6 percent mortality ratio is less than the national 17.2 percent
  • African American women are more than two-and-a-half times more likely to die of a pregnancy-related condition than white women.
  • Lake County experienced six pregnancy-associated and one pregnancy-related death between 2008-2016
  • Geauga County experienced two pregnancy-associated deaths between 2008 and 2016
  • Cuyahoga County experienced 65 pregnancy-associated with a 47.7 to every 100,000 live births ratio between 2008-2016

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