For too many families, infant death is a reality. Since 2000, 6,696 infants didn’t live to celebrate their first birthdays in South Carolina. That’s more than double the number of people killed in the Sept. 11 terror attacks. What’s even more heartbreaking is that many of these deaths were the result of premature births, which often can be prevented.

One local program is working to lower the infant mortality rate. Nurse-Family Partnership is a maternal and early childhood health program that fosters long-term success for first-time moms, their babies and society.

NFP is backed by nearly four decades of research demonstrating its effectiveness in improving the lives of vulnerable first-time mothers and their families in Charleston, Berkeley, Colleton and Dorchester counties.

Through NFP, registered nurses work closely with mothers for more than two years — beginning early in pregnancy — to ensure babies are born healthy and on time, and get a good start on life. Through this type of intensive education and home visitation, we hope to improve the overall health and quality of life in order to see that every infant in our community celebrates his or her first birthday.

NFP is not the only solution to building a healthier community, but it’s a step in the right direction. If you know of a mother pregnant with her first child who would benefit from NFP’s services, please call 843-579-4592, to refer.

JANE FARRELL, M. ED

Co-Chairman

NFP Board

Brook Haven Court

Mount Pleasant