1st Vice President:
Linda Y. JacksonLinks Section
Pi Omega Zeta Sorors and Amicae attended Good Hope Baptist Church, Round Rock, Texas, to share the prematurity campaign message.
Pi Omega Zeta Sorors Lady Bell, Melissa Guidry, Annette Aron, Basileus Andrea Charlton, Z-Hope Coordinator Linda Y. Jackson, and Tamika Trotman attended Zion Chapel Baptist Church, Taylor Texas, to share the prematurity campaign message.
In response to the significant rise in premature births, the March of Dimes and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. hold awareness events for prematurity each November. Pi Omega Zeta joins Zeta members in 800 communities in the United States as they conduct Prematurity Awareness Sunday activities in houses of worship. The Sorority has also targeted 49 cities and the U.S. Virgin Islands for an expanded public awareness media and government affairs campaign.
Prematurity affects one out of eight babies born in the U.S. today—a rate that has increased 27 percent since 1981. The numbers are even more alarming for African-American babies who have a one-in-six chance of being born too soon. In addition to the emotional toll, there is a tangible cost to premature birth as well. In 2001, average hospital charges in the United States for the most severe cases of prematurity were nearly 60 times higher than the charges for newborn stays without complications. Prematurity is the leading cause of newborn death (in the first month of life) and many of those babies who survive leave the hospital with lifelong health conditions or developmental disabilities that will place additional financial burden on the family.
In 2003, the March of Dimes launched a five-year, $75 million national campaign to educate women to support research into the causes of premature of birth, and to educate the public and health care professional about the escalating health problem of prematurity.
Despite its prevalence, many families endure the trauma of a premature birth, and all too often infant death, privately and silently. Most people are unaware of the scope of this common and costly health problem. “We want to help the March of Dimes educate the public,” said Andrea Charlton, President of the local Zeta chapter. “We are bringing this vital information to the places where we worship, one of the cores of community life. This issue affects so many in the community, it seems like the right thing to do.”
In addition to the local congregational observances. Central Texas residents can participate in the National March of Dimes observance by visiting the March of Dimes and clicking on the babyband.
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated was founded in 1920 in Washington, D.C., on the belief that the social nature of sorority life should not overshadow the real mission for progressive organizations to address societal mores, ills, prejudices, poverty, and health concerns of the day. The Pi Omega Zeta chapter was chartered to support the Williamson County area in 1998. The international organizations more than 100,000 initiated members, operating in more than 800 chapters, have given millions of voluntary hours to educate the public, provide scholarships, support organized charities and promote legislation for social and civic change.
The March of Dimes is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defect and infant mortality. Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes funds programs of research, community services, education, and advocacy to save babies and in 2003 launched a five-year campaign to address the increasing rate of premature birth.