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3/15/2007

Birth And Rebirth In New Orleans

Disaster Management News: Louisiana, USA
WASHINGTON, March, 2007 (UPI) -- After Hurricane Katrina, the city of New Orleans is in the midst of a rebirth -- but advocates are struggling to make it a good place to give birth.
The destruction of the city's health infrastructure, combined with a spike in the proportion of citizens who are uninsured, has made it harder than ever for expecting mothers to get the care they need.
On an average week in Louisiana, 117 babies are born to mothers who receive inadequate prenatal care, 137 babies are born with low birth weights, and 12 die before their first birthday, according to the March of Dimes.
Hospitals are reporting an increase of mothers in labor who come to emergency rooms without having received any prenatal care at all -- the result of an increasingly poor, uninsured, unemployed and transient population, said David Ward, president and chief executive officer of Daughters of Charity Services in New Orleans, a Catholic service organization.
The lack of prenatal and well-baby services is "one of the absolute top concerns of healthcare in this region," Ward told United Press International.
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