The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

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February 28, 2014

County report card shows progress on health indicators

TARBORO — The 2013 Child Health County Data Card shows progress on key health indicators for Edgecombe County children.

Increases in insurance coverage, dental care and high school graduation rates, and declines in infant mortality and teen pregnancy rates are among those indicators. The changes in those health indicators occurred between 2007 and 2012, a time when Edgecombe County was in the midst of an economic hardship. During that timeframe, the county’s unemployment rate increased from 7.6 percent to 14.7 percent.

“Poverty causes increased financial and emotional strains on families that often result in poorer health outcomes for children,” said Laila A. Bell, director of research and data at NC Child. “These data show that public policy actions which promote evidence-based programs and support local communities can be powerful tools to safeguard our children’s health during tough economic times.”

Infant mortality rates in the county drastically improved, from a rate of 17.9 per 1,000 live births in 2007 to a rate of 7.4 in 2012. Teen pregnancy rates plunged from 48.6 per 1,000 girl ages 15 to 17 in 2007 to 22.7 in 2012.

For the complete story, see today's print edition of The Daily Southerner.

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