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Detroit’s new top doc to focus on curbing lead poisoning, infant mortality

May 2, 2017

Lead poisoning and infant mortality are two of the biggest problems facing Michigan.

Roughly seven babies out of every thousand born in Michigan do not live to their first birthday. 

The state's infant mortality rate is more than a full point ahead of the national rate. 

And in Detroit, the rate is twice as high.

As for lead poisoning, the problem extends far beyond the city of Flint. Many older homes in Detroit still have lead paint on their walls.

The new executive director and health officer of the Detroit Health Department is making lead and infant mortality top priorities.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun stepped into the job earlier this year, after the previous director Abdul El-Sayed left to run for governor. She spoke with Stateside’s Cynthia Canty about the future of public health in Detroit.

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