NPT: Border childrens’ health report card
Representatives statewide non-profit group Center for Public Policy Priorities will be in El Paso on May 7 to present their findings from their report titled “Texas KIDS COUNT: Our Border, Our Future.”
The report detailed the health conditions of children living in border counties, which the report estimated at more than 6.4 million, a nine percent population growth from 2000 to 2007. The report also states that 94% of children are American by birthright or naturalization, regardless of their parents’ status.
The statistics represent what report author Dr. Frances Deviney called a “mixed bag.” “Even though based on data we have seen an improvement on the poverty level [in the border counties], have the worst poverty level in the state,” she said.
The basis of the report came from visits to border communities in which they compiled the information requested from various organizations from cities including El Paso, McAllen, and Brownsville. During the year-long process in which the report was created, the Deviney credits La Fe clinic and the Texas A&M campus in McAllen for helping with data collection.
They found that while the infant mortality rates and the number of mothers who smoke were lower on the border than in counties elsewhere in the state, mothers on the border were also less likely to receive early prenatal care. “There are real positives, but there are some structural negatives,” said Deviney.
— Elizabeth Ruiz