Frayser clinic works to help pregnant teens stay healthy - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Frayser clinic works to help pregnant teens stay healthy

By Jamel Major - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A clinic in Frayser is fighting infant mortality by helping teen mothers give birth to healthy children.

Dr. Greg Mullinax with Christ Community Health Services in Frayser says the teen pregnancy crisis is not only being felt in Frayser but all across Shelby County.

"The teen pregnancy issue is part of a much larger issue that Shelby County has been addressing for years," he said.

According to Mullinax, last year the Frayser Health Center had approximately 70 teen patients who gave birth.  The clinic is located in the 38127 zip code, where 271 babies were born to mothers ages 10 to 19 in 2008.

"The rate of teen pregnancy last year for 2010 was slightly lower than what it was for 2009, although it's higher than we want it to be," he said.

Mullinax says there are several factors that can lead to a teen pregnancy crisis.

"Education plays into it, economics play into it, and we see young women and men who would benefit from just more protection," he said.

Mullinax said babies born to teens are more susceptible to low birth weight or even death. Educating teens, he said, is the key to saving young lives.

"The rate in Shelby County is higher than the national average, but even if it's one baby, if you lose one baby, it devastates a community," he said.

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