Infant mortality has been on the rise, especially among the black population in Hamilton, Ohio. According to the Ohio Department of Health, the high rates have been associated with conditions such as preterm death, sudden infant death syndrome, maternal complications, congenital disabilities, and low birth weight. Applying the eco-social epidemiology paradigm on a macro level is crucial in understanding, managing, preventing, and determining the incidence and possible solutions to the health risk.
The eco-social paradigm deals with the epidemiology of a health risk from a community perspective rather than an individual’s. An example of an eco-social approach would be discussing high infant mortality rates among the black population in Hamilton, Ohio. The high infant mortality rate affects the larger community of blacks in Hamilton. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black infants’ death is two to three times more than white infants, mainly contributed by racial and ethnic disparities during pregnancy (2019). It emerges that it is a social issue that needs social address.
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For intervention, a community health inspection can be done on pregnant mothers across Hamilton to determine the challenges they are going through. This should be channeled towards social factors such as affordability of maternal clinics, availability of health centers that would make attending clinics easier, and financial ability that would lead to the mothers eating healthy. It should be done on a macro level through surveys, interviews, and questionnaires relating their responses to their comorbid and socio-economic conditions and education level.
Possible solutions to preventing the high rate would be to support pregnant mothers financially, offer mobile clinics to the community, and educate them on effective pregnancy maintenance. Education on maternal attainment is a great preventative measure studied by Green & Hamilton (2019). It could also include screening them to determine their comorbid status to prevent pregnancy-related complications before, during, and after birth. As Nies & McEwen posit, the key in preventing community health risks is to use a social justice approach (2018). Besides, it should focus on treating children already with complications to prevent early deaths.
In summary, an eco-social epidemiology approach needs to be applied to determine the specific socio-economic, health, and educational level factors relating to the high infant rate in Hamilton. To prevent the health risk, this needs to be done by studying pregnant women in Ohio to determine their social-economic, health, and education status. Actions such as educating them on maternal attainment, supporting them financially, and diagnosing their existing health issues can assist in controlling the high rates.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019, September 6). Racial and ethnic disparities continue in pregnancy-related deaths. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2019/p0905-racial-ethnic-disparities-pregnancy-deaths.html
Green, T., & Hamilton, T. G. (2019). Maternal educational attainment and infant mortality in the United States. Demographic Research, 41, 713-752. McEwen, M., & Nies, M. A. (2018). UNIT 1 Introduction to Community Health Nursing. Community/Public Health Nursing-E-Bo