Report shows progress in key areas
As part of National Public Health Week 2014, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) released a report on recent progress the state has been making to improve the health of Iowans. Nearly 70 agencies assessed their efforts to take action that helps Iowans live long, healthy, and productive lives.
According to IDPH Interim Director Gerd Clabaugh, the report shows that Iowa is making headway in key areas. He cited a number of examples:
· The Iowa DOT reported that crash fatalities in 2013 were down to a record low of 318 compared with the 2009 to 2012 average of 371.
· The number of methamphetamine labs seized in the state declined, a reflection of the availability of the drug. The Department of Public Safety collected reports of 290 labs seized in 2013, down from 382 in 2010, and about 80% below Iowa’s meth lab high water mark of 1,500 in 2004.
· The percentage of children, ages 2 to 5, in the Women, Infants, and Children’s (WIC) program who were overweight/obese has dropped from 22% in 2010 to 19% in 2013. According to CDC, Iowa is one of 19 states where the obesity rate for children in WIC has declined. In general, children in this age group who have a healthy weight grow up to become adults without weight problems.
· The preterm birth rate of African-Americans has declined from about 17% in 2010 to slightly over 15% in 2012. This may be a sign that the high infant mortality rate (10 per 1,000 births) is dropping among this group of Iowans.
The Iowa Department of Public Health coordinates the state’s health improvement plan, reports progress, and makes revisions, “but the ability to make lasting improvement depends on the collaborative nature of public health and not on a single state public health agency,” Clabaugh said. “The Healthy Iowans Progress Report 2014 represents that critical partnership effort.”
For more information on the report, visit http://www.idph.state.ia.us/adper/healthy_iowans_plan.asp.