HOUSTON – Judge Hidalgo and Commissioner Rodney Ellis held a news conference Tuesday to introduce a new program that aims to combat maternal and infant mortality in Harris County.
According to a news release, the program, initiated in Commissioner Ellis’ Precinct 1, will focus on African-American women who are twice as likely to die in childbirth than the national average.
The commissioners’ court will vote on the over $7 million investment of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds requested to fund this program.
“Having children and starting a family, should be one of the most beautiful times in a woman’s life. But for too many women, this turns to tragedy here in Texas,” Hidalgo said. “In most industrialized countries in the world, they average below 10 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. In Harris County, the average for all mothers is 55 -- it’s much higher in the United States than other countries. For African-American women in Harris County, the maternal mortality rate is 106.1. That means African-American women in Harris County are about 10 times more likely to die than women overall than other industrialized nations.”
Watch the full announcement below: