TOPEKA — The House of Representatives has given final approval to a bill to allow health surveyors to gather more data from mothers to try to cut dismayingly high infant-mortality rates in Kansas and especially Sedgwick County.
House Bill 2454 will allow the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to access birth-certificate information to find and survey mothers of infants that die in the first year of life.
The idea is to gather data on issues such as nutrition and access to medical care, said Rep. Pat Colloton, R-Leawood, who carried the bill on the House floor today.
“We’d like to find out what are the factors leading to this high infant mortality rate in an otherwise healthy state of Kansas,” Colloton said.
The national infant mortality rate is 6.6 deaths in the first year of life per 1,000 live births.
In Kansas the rate is 7.2 per thousand.
Overall, Sedgwick County has a rate of 8.93 and among African-American county residents, it’s 21.57 per thousand.