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March of Dimes: Addressing inequities in healthcare for mothers and babies

Thousands Attend March of Dimes Event
Posted at 3:22 PM, Aug 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 00:01:04-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- When the March of Dimes was founded in the 1930's, the mission was to fight polio, now the focus is to help all women and babies get the healthcare they need.

But there are still plenty of obstacles, especially for women of color.

Like Winter, who lost a premature baby, "What can we do to bridge the gap to make sure that African-American women have a great chance to experience birth?"

According to March of Dimes black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy related causes than white women. The organization also reports that black babies are twice as likely to die before their first birthday.

In San Diego, the inequities also apply to immigrant communities and those who don't speak English.

March of Dimes' job is to reach those under served groups.

Marta Bills, with March of Dimes San Diego says there are all sorts of ways the organization is trying to promote equality, including increased funding, providing scientific research and even training healthcare providers to tackle bias.

"To just ensure that they are providing the most respectful and unbiased care they possibly can," Bills said.
March of Dimes is also expanding a program that promotes group prenatal care.

It was impacted when Covid hit, but local clinics are figuring out ways to start back up again safely.

Bills says the groups give women who participate more time with their doctors but also lead to better outcomes overall because patients tend to show up to their appointments more often.