RIDGELAND, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi is among the top states for infant and maternal mortality rates and the numbers year-to-year are not getting any lower.
Women health advocates celebrated the opening of a new clinic run by Sisters in Birth on Tuesday. It is an organization designed to provide comprehensive services to wellness of women and their babies.
CEO Getty Israel has particular group of women in mind for this clinic to cater to.
“Particularly, black women,” said Israel.
She said Black women are three times more likely than white women to have delivery complications like infant and maternal mortality and that’s partly because of doctors prioritizing their own desires over their patients like performing C-sections when it’s not necessary.
“So many doctors want to do what’s convenient for them. It’s also a cash cow. A few years ago a Mississippi hospital earned over $228 million from C-sections alone. It’s the number one surgery performed in Mississippi,” said Israel.
In addition, she said many black women are unable to afford proper healthcare and therefor are uninformed during pregnancy.
Sisters in Birth provides coaching before, during and after having a child at their clinic.
Amerigroup has helped get the ball rolling for the clinic with just $15,000.
Tara Clark with Amerigroup Mississippi said the organization chooses its partners based on who will use their financial contributions wisely.
“That’s why we have chosen to significantly invest with a lot of partners in Mississippi, but specifically Sisters in Birth,” explained Clark.
These partners’ work does not stop with the clinic. They are also working to open a birthing center, it would be the first in the state. Right now, it’s in the fundraising stage.