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Exploring Infant Mortality In Milwaukee

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Jason Rieve
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(From left) Tom Luljak with Jeanette Kowalik, Milwaukee health commissioner, and Emmanuel Ngui, associate professor of community and behavioral health in the UWM Zilber School of Public Health.

African American babies in Milwaukee are three times more likely to die before their first birthday than white babies. That means out of every 1,000 births in Milwaukee, 15 black babies will die compared to five white infants.

Any loss of a young life is heartbreaking, but the large number of African American infant deaths is indeed a tragedy. Why are the numbers so high? And what can be done to prevent those deaths?

On this edition of UWM Today, we focus on infant mortality in Milwaukee. Joining us in the studio are Emmanuel Ngui, associate professor of community and behavioral health in the UWM Zilber School of Public Health, and Jeanette Kowalik, Milwaukee health commissioner. Kowalik is also an alum of UW-Milwaukee where she earned both her bachelor’s and doctorate degrees.

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Tom Luljak hosted UWM Today on WUWM for more than two decades and is the inaugural host of Curious Campus.