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Measures Aim to Alleviate Maternal Health Disparities in Prince George’s County
A pair of maternal health resolutions, sponsored by District 7 Council Member Krystal Oriadha, was introduced by the Prince George’s County Council on Tuesday, October 10, and will now go to committee.
The first resolution (CR-090-2023) would create a Black Maternal Health Fund of up to $1 million to ensure organizations that provide wraparound services to women in need have necessary resources.
“The Black Maternal Health Fund will support our nonprofits who are working to alleviate maternal health disparities, often with a limited budget and insufficient resources,” said Council Member Oriadha. “This measure won’t solve the problem overnight, but it is a step in the right direction.”
The second resolution calls for a maternal health audit of government agencies in Prince George’s County. It establishes a Policies and Healthcare Options Task Force to audit County policies and healthcare benefit options with a focus on maternal health. The five-member task force would be comprised of a County Council representative; Health Department Director or designee; Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM) Director or designee; and one representative from two separate organizations focusing on maternal health work.
“As an expecting mother, there are issues surrounding maternal health that have been brought to my attention. I realized with my county health insurance I could not give birth in the county because my insurance provider does not have a contract with any Prince George’s County hospital. I think it’s important that as a county, we do better, and I pledge to make sure we do just that,” Oriadha said. “We cannot ignore the fact that black women die of maternal related complications at rates much higher than their white counterparts.”
Black women have the highest maternal mortality rate in the U.S. and are three times as likely to die in childbirth as white women, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CR-090-2023 and CR-091-2023 have been referred to the Council’s Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee (GOFP) for consideration.