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Improve health of women, children

Ohio still has work to do — just as much as this time last year, as a matter of fact — when it comes to the health of women and children.

According to data released by the United Health Foundation, Ohio is unmoved from its spot at 32nd in the nation on the 2019 America’s Health Rankings Health of Women and Children Report.

Since 2016, the teen suicide rate has increased by nearly 46 percent and the child mortality rate has gone up 16 percent. Ohio also has relatively higher neonatal mortality rates and lower child immunization coverage.

Meanwhile, far too many of Buckeye State women are struggling against drug addiction. Since 2016 the number of drug-related deaths among women has nearly doubled.

In one of the most affluent, technologically advanced and well-educated nations in the world, and given the assurances that the Affordable Care Act would eradicate many of these challenges — it is difficult to understand how numbers like these can be going up in Ohio and some other states.

Ohio must find a way to do better. Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Connecticut are the top five on the list. What is happening there that is not happening in other parts of the country? Is it all about money? Is there anything happening in those states that could be adapted to serve Ohio residents?

Health officials have a lot on their plates in the Buckeye State. Women’s and children’s health must remain priorities.

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