OKLAHOMA CITY -- For the second year in a row, Oklahoma earned a grade of "F" from the March of Dimes for its preterm birth rate.
Included in those stats, Oklahoma did earn a star for reducing the percent of uninsured women of child-bearing age from 24.2% in 2007 to 23.8% in 2009.
"We hope that by reducing risk factors such as insurance coverage, we will see our state's rate of premature births improve in the future, "said Laurie Applekamp, State Director for Oklahoma March of Dimes Chapter; "The March of Dimes supports research, local community grants, NICU Family Support programs, education projects and advocacy initiatives across the state that work to prevent preterm birth and help moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies."
Meanwhile, the United States earned a "D" on the report card also for the second year in a row.
Oklahoma State Department of Health, March of Dimes and other partners have developed a toolkit "Preparing for a Lifetime, It's Everyone's Responsibility."
The kit provides valuable information on ways to help keep babies healthy and safe.
"The Oklahoma State Department of Health supports the strategies and efforts of the March of Dimes to create awareness about the risks of premature births and ways to help lower those risks. We are partnering with them to help improve the health of infants and moms and to reduce the infant mortality rates in Oklahoma. Reducing the number of preterm births is one factor that can help," said Oklahoma State Commissioner of Health Dr. Terry Cline.
To read about the ODOH toolkit, visit Oklahoma Department of Health.