Programs boost health improvements

Jan. 18, 2013 @ 05:33 PM

More at-risk infants survived last year, but the county still has a way to go to reduce the rate of sexually-transmitted diseases and to improve nutrition, according to a new health report.
Live births in Guilford County increased slightly from 6,003 in 2010 to 6,049 in 2011, reversing a two-year downward trend from 2008 to 2010. In 2011, 45 babies died during their first year of life, down from 57 in 2010. On the negative side of the ledger, the county’s rates for HIV infection, syphilis and Chlamydia exceed state rates, according to a report from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
“While we are pleased to see some of our important health indicators improve, our department and staff will continue to focus on partnering with the community and residents to address the issues that affect the health of our county,” said Health Director Merle Green.
Infant Mortality: The health agency provides prenatal care through the Adopt-A-Mom Program of the Guilford County Coalition of Infant Mortality. The program ensures that all women in Guilford County have access to prenatal care, by coordinating the provision of prenatal care for women who are Medicaid ineligible, lack private insurance or personal funds to pay for prenatal care.
Teen Pregnancy: Smart Girls Life Skills Program has helped to reduce teen pregnancy among 15 to 19-year-old women in 2011 to 35.6 cases per 1,000 females. The number of pregnant teens in 2010 was 41.7 per 1,000. The program encourages teen girls to postpone early sexual involvement, or if sexually active, reduce the risks of pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections.
STDs: The health agency worked with other partner groups to provide sexual health education and testing to offer HIV prevention counseling and testing and syphilis screening services to 9,696 community residents.

Guilford Health Initiatives
Prenatal Care: More than 5,000 Adopt-A-Mom babies have been born healthy because of the program, which has been awarded the GlaxoSmith Kline Foundation’s Child Health Award, including a $5,000 prize.

Screenings:  Nia Community Action Center, Piedmont Health Services and Sickle Cell Agency and Triad Health Project help provide a comprehensive network of sexual health education and HIV and sexually transmitted infection testing in Guilford County.