Health care professionals and government officials from across Kentucky are trying to address the large number of babies in the state that die in their first year of life.
At the Governor's Summit on Infant Mortality last week officials said nearly 14 percent of babies in the Commonwealth are born prematurely. And hospitalizations for babies born addicted to drugs rose by 2,400 percent between 2000 and 2011. Officials say poverty, lack of education and drug abuse contribute to an infant mortality rate higher than Cuba, Croatia or Slovakia. Attempts to combat the problem include a home-visitation program for new and expectant parents and educational program. Officials say they are also working to get more drug-addicted mothers into treatment.