Philadelphia officials have disclosed that they are fundraising to launch a trial program to be able to give the monthly sum of $1,000 payments to pregnant women who live in certain communities.
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health aims to start the Philly Joy Bank pilot in early 2024 to help ease racial disparities in infant mortality rates.
Philadelphia has the highest infant mortality rate during a child’s first year of life of the 10 most populated US cities, the city said.
“Infant mortality in Philadelphia is a solvable crisis,” health commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole declared in a statement.
“We know that being able to better support pregnant people and new parents helps keep babies alive. As the poorest big city in the country, this is not always easy, especially in areas of the city that are being crushed by generational poverty and systemic racism.”
According to data from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, the infant mortality rate (deaths per 1,000 live births) in Philadelphia was 6.1 in 2017 — higher than the US rate of 5.8.