By Tyra Wilkes, Special to the AFRO

Howard University Hospital announced the opening of their Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Family Center at the Joint Base Anacostia –Bolling (JBAB), located at 53 MacDill Boulevard (Building 53) S.W., Washington, D.C. The center will provide healthcare to low-income military families with infants and children, access to healthy foods, nutritional and educational counseling, breastfeeding support, health care and immunization resources, and community-based social services.

With the huge influx of postnatal death amongst women and children in the District, this announcement is major news as it guarantees accessibility for community members whose lives depend on having access to affordable healthcare. 

Howard University Hospital announced the opening of their WIC Family Center at the Joint Base Anacostia- Bolling (JBAB) in S.W., Washington, D.C. (Courtesy Photo)

“Poverty and lack of health care access among military families are quite often overlooked with many families living well below the poverty line,” said Davene White, director of the HUH CARES Public Health Program. “Howard UniversityHospital is proud to open a new WIC center at Joint Base Anacostia – Bolling, which will help eliminate barriers and provide local military families with valuable nutrition education and resources to address their dietary and health needs.”

The fight against the rising maternal mortality rate in Washington, D.C. has already caught the attention of major media and government. With mothers and children in low-income areas of the city dying at rapid rates in comparison to wealthier zip codes, Howard University Hospital is taking a step to combat this horrific trend and end the major health disparities issue facing the city.

“Studies show that babies born prematurely or with low birth weight are at a higher risk of an early death,” White said. “The HUH CARES WIC program is very effective at reducing these incidents by offering resources focused on helping women improve the quality of their diet; as well as staying abreast of childhood immunization standards, growth and development and increasing access to prenatal care much earlier in their pregnancy.”

The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Family Center is open from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.