Officials in Philadelphia revealed on Monday that they are seeking money to start a pilot program that will provide expecting moms who reside in specific regions $1,000 monthly cash payments.
To reduce racial inequalities in newborn mortality rates, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health plans to launch the Philly Joy Bank trial in the first quarter of 2024.
Philadelphia has the highest infant death rate in the first year of life among the ten most populous US cities. The infant mortality rate (deaths per 1,000 live births), according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was 6.1 in Philadelphia in 2017 – higher than the US figure of 5.8.
“Infant mortality in Philadelphia is a solvable crisis,” health commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole declared in a statement. “We know that being able to better support pregnant people and new parents helps keep babies alive. As the poorest big city in the country, this is not always easy, especially in areas of the city that are being crushed by generational poverty and systemic racism.”
Despite being just 43% of the pregnant women in Philadelphia between 2013 and 2018, non-Hispanic black women were determined to be responsible for 58% of pregnancy-related fatalities, according to a 2021 municipal study.
The Cobbs Creek, Strawberry Mansion, and Nicetown-Tioga communities will be the main focus of the Philadelphia Joy Bank since they have the greatest incidence of low birth weights in the city. Pregnant women participating in the experiment can expect to receive income for 18 months, including the first year after giving birth. They must have an annual family income of less than $100,000 in order to be eligible.
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