Reported by: Associated Press
Web Producer: Heath Harrison
Reported: Mar. 3, 2013 3:45 PM EST
Eyewitness News Photo
Frankfort, Franklin County
Health care professionals and government officials from across the state are trying to address the large number of Kentucky babies that die in their first year of life.
The Courier-Journal reported at the Governor's Summit on Infant Mortality last week, officials said nearly 14 percent of Kentucky babies are born prematurely. And hospitalizations for babies born addicted to drugs rose by 2,400 percent between 2000 and 2011.
Officials said poverty, lack of education and drug abuse contribute to an infant mortality rate that is higher than Cuba, Croatia or Slovakia.
Attempts to combat the problem include a home-visitation program for new and expectant parents and an educational program to prevent elective deliveries before 39 weeks gestation.
Officials said they are also working to get more drug-addicted mothers into treatment.
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