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SAVANNAH, Ga. - GeorgiaChron -- (SAVANNAH, Ga.)– A public health professor at Georgia Southern University has facilitated a Photovoice project to identify social, cultural, and physical barriers that discourage breastfeeding by African American mothers in Chatham County and to identify opportunities to remove those obstacles.

Nandi A. Marshall, DrPH, MPH, CHES, an associate professor and Interim Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, has published a photo book, "Savannah H.O.P.E. Photovoice Project", documenting personal experiences from local African-American mothers. Photovoice projects tell a story using a combination of photography and storytelling to amplify the participants' voices by their experiences through their own lens.

The Photovoice Project book illustrates from a personal view what data from a 2019 Racial Disparities in Breastfeeding Initiation and Duration Among U.S. Infants Born in 2015 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates: among all infants, black infants had a significantly lower rate of any breastfeeding at age 3 months (58.0%) than did white infants (72.7%); at age 6 months, the rates were 44.7% among black infants and 62.0% among white infants.

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As a result of the data collected from the participating mothers throughout the project, Marshall and community leaders have begun work to have Savannah/Chatham County recognized as a Breastfeeding Friendly Community.

In lieu of a traditional exhibition, Dr. Marshall and her team developed and published a photobook to showcase the data and images to tell the story of breastfeeding African-American mothers. Copies of the book will be shared with community partners and are available for viewing at the Healthy Savannah office, the YMCA of Coastal Georgia, and on the Armstrong Campus at Georgia Southern University. The photobook will be available to view digitally on the Healthy Savannah website later this fall.

This program is supported by the YMCA of Coastal Georgia and Healthy Savannah through grant funding awarded by the Centers for Disease Control's Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health.

For more information, please contact Marshall by phone at 912-344-3307 or by email at nmarshall@georgiasouthern.edu.

ABOUT THE YMCA OF COASTAL GEORGIA/HEALTHY SAVANNAH GRANT FOR RACIAL AND ETHNIC APPROACHES TO COMMUNITY HEALTH:

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In September 2018, Healthy Savannah and the YMCA of Coastal Georgia were awarded a five-year, $3.4 million grant called Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health. This funding, awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has been deployed by the Savannah/Chatham County project team to reduce health inequities experienced by Black residents in low-wealth neighborhoods.

CONTACT
Nandi A. Marshall, DrPH, MPH, CHES ®
nmarshall@georgiasouthern.edu

CONTACT
Hillary Bradbury
Hillary.bradbury@ymcaofcoastalga.org
912.354.5480

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Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade Public Relations® Inc.
912.844.9990
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marjorie@carriagetradepr.com

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