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July 7, 1951


Author Affiliations

Washington, D. C.

From the Children's Bureau, Federal Security Agency.

JAMA. 1951;146(10):893-896. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670100013004

The federal grants-in-aid system for health purposes is based on the principle that problems and resources vary widely and that each state moves at its own speed. An excellent study recently reported indicates that Kings County was ready to move forward in an important way in tackling the problems of saving the lives of premature babies before any of the other counties in the Greater New York area. So I interpret "a nationwide plan" to mean a statement of general principles, the application of which will vary widely from one state or community to another.

Infant mortality since 1915 has been reduced two-thirds, from 100 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1915 to 31 deaths in 1949. Improved sanitary conditions (such as the elimination of the house fly and pasteurization of milk), improved living standards, better nutrition, and improved medical practice have played a part in this reduction.

Certain specific

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