According to statistics released by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, more than one-third of deaths among women either during or just after pregnancy could have been prevented.
The agency released details of their report on maternal deaths in Michigan from 2011 to 2015 this week and is looking at ways to reduce mortality numbers over the handful of years.
The report breaks down the mortality rates by either pregnancy related or pregnancy-associated, but not related deaths.
“This new report provides data on maternal deaths, causes, steps the state has taken to address this issue and recommendations to further reduce deaths among Michigan women,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive, adding the state pays close attention to the numbers.
Among the deaths not related to pregnancy, almost half of the deaths were because of drug overdose.
Black women were three times as likely to die from pregnancy related causes, the report stated.
Along with other state organizations, MDHHS is working on the 2019-2022 Mother Infant Health Improvement Plan, which focuses on preventative measures including early prenatal care.
The plan also calls for better mental and behavioral health screenings and access to treatment, along with cessation help for tobacco and substance use.
MDHHS sees the plan as a means to reducing preventable deaths over the next decade to zero.