LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- An event was held last week in Los Angeles to address the high birth mortality rate in Los Angeles County, especially among minorities.
The event held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Public Health hosted panel discussions aimed at helping to educate and empower - while highlighting some startling figures.
According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of mothers nationwide dying during birth increased slightly from 2019 to 2020.
In L.A. County, the infant mortality rate was nearly 4 for every 1,000 births. The numbers are higher for minority children.
Black families experienced the highest rate of infant deaths, nearly 9 for every 1,000 births.
"There's no reason for this," said L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. "We have to align our services and our supports to acknowledge the danger of racism, and its impact on people's health."
In addition, data shows Black babies are also three times more likely to die before their first birthday.
Black mothers in L.A. County are also four times more likely to die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth than any other racial or ethnic group.
"Exposure to the stress of historical and multi-generational racism, racism in our structures, our supports not really lining up to support Black families well," said Melissa Franklin with Maternal Child and Adolescent Health.
The hope is that events like this can help change course.