MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - After a three-year trend of rising infant mortality rates in Alabama, health officials have decided to form a review board to find out why, despite a lack of funding by the Legislature.
State Health Officer Don Williamson said he will fund the Fetal Infant Mortality Review Board by taking five staff members from their current duties to focus on infant deaths.
The state's infant mortality rate rose to 10 per 1,000 live births in 2007. That's the highest rate since 1998.
Williamson has been asking legislators to approve the $500,000 needed to start the review board since 2006 but hasn't had any success.
He said the board's in-depth research is necessary to pinpoint exactly why the state's babies are dying and will show what needs to be done to prevent more deaths.