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Politics and Government

Health officials worry some minority groups delaying prenatal care

Healthy Families Onondaga Facebook

There has been progress and improvements in the health of babies in the City of Syracuse, according to recent statistics. But there is one area that Onondaga County health officials want to work on going forward. 

Nyasha Boldon, project director of the Syracuse Healthy Start program, said there is one group of worrying statistics when looking at numbers from 2018; a lag in the time it takes women to begin prenatal care.

"What we began to see that there was almost a two week delay for African Americans, and also a delay in refugees,” Boldon said. “And we began to see why and that’s one area we want to continue to focus on.”

Boldon said the issue isn’t insurance. Ninety-percent of the agency’s clients are on Medicaid. But she said there are barriers, like transportation, or child care complications, that can prevent moms from getting to appointments on time. Boldon said they will double down on the message of the importance of prenatal care.

"Providers are busy, so people can’t miss appointments,” Boldon said. “And we need to educate clients on the importance of, if you miss an appointment, call and reschedule, don’t just miss it. Let your provider know what’s going on.”

Boldon said getting that prenatal care early is important when it comes to avoiding premature births and low birth weights.