Commission for Women holds panel discussion on root causes of maternal and infant mortality

Hadas Kuznits
December 15, 2018 - 6:47 pm

Hadas Kuznits/KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- A diverse crowd of health care providers gathered Saturday to address maternal and infant mortality, which disproportionately affects back women.

The Philadelphia Commission For Women hosted a full house for a discussion here at Blackwell Regional Library about why black mothers and babies are dying. 

Dr. Marleny Franco, of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, served as the moderator.

"In recent years, there's been a growing awareness of the mortality for both mothers and infants that disproportionally affect black women, not just nationally but right here in Philadelphia,” she said. “And so our goal today was to start a conversation."

State Rep. Morgan Cephas acknowledged you can't have those conversations without addressing the elephant in the room.

"You know, racism has been unfortunately, the fabric of our country and as you see today we are still grappling with those issues," she said.

Kuznits: "And that word."

"And that word,” she said. “Even just to say that word, that racism is a component when it comes to our healthcare systems."

Dr. Franco also says she'd like to see awareness of this health crisis receive the same level of attention as other issues like gun violence or opioids.