Black Infant Mortality and Racism

by Dr. Carlessia A. Hussein

1/9/2021


Mortality rates for Black babies is cut dramatically when the baby is delivered by Black doctors, researchers say. See Washington Post article below. Racism and negative bias is palpable. All marginalized people inherit sensors that enable them to avert dangerous encounters. The infant before birth picks-up on when the mother is stressed when experiencing bias and joins her by sharing a fear response. The delivering health professional cannot hide their biases (known or unknown) from the new individual entering the outside world. My Take: This does not mean that only Black doctors should deliver Black babies. This is not possible. It means that medical and nursing schools must add bias to their admissions review factors to address this health challenge and add unconscious bias training as a required course offering for students. In the same theme, healthcare delivery institutions must add bias to their hiring review criteria and require unconscious bias training for staff. The challenge of racial bias is imbedded in the country for over four hundred years and is extremely difficult to detect and more challenging to remediate. However, for a heathy future for American, we must try.