Biennial report identifies priorities

Feb. 15, 2013 @ 05:56 PM

First in a series

There is some good news in the 2012 State of the County Health Report released this past week by the Granville-Vance District Health Department.

The report is released every other year.

Both counties tracked better than the state in multiple mortality categories, and had decreases in child fatalities.

The report, which is available through the health department’s website and at its offices in both counties, was conducted by Health Education Supervisor Jackie Sergent and health educators Sasheena Atkins (Granville County) and Amanda Barker (Vance County).

They compiled a substantial amount of data into a six-page report that presents population characteristics, shows trends on several health criteria for Granville and Vance counties and identifies three priority areas.

Based on the findings and data related to sexually transmitted diseases, teen pregnancy, obesity and school performance, the community assessment team identified three priority areas for the health district: reproductive health and pregnancy outcomes; chronic disease and lifestyle issues; and success in schools.

Needs are not the same for each county.

A demographic snapshot of the two counties shows the estimated 2011 population of Vance County at 45,307 and of Granville County at 59,976.

The percent of the population made up of persons of color was 58.4 percent in Vance and 42.3 percent in Granville, both higher than the state’s 34.5 percent.

The percent of Hispanic or Latino origin was 7.0 percent in Vance and 7.7 percent in Granville, both lower than the state’s 8.6 percent.

The percent of persons below the poverty line in the period 2006-2010 was 27.5 percent in Vance and 11.9 percent in Granville. The state’s rate is 19.6 percent.

The percent of the population under age 65 who are uninsured (2009-2010) was 20.8 percent in Vance and 19.3 percent in Granville. The state rate is 19.6 percent.

Both counties saw decreases in death rates from strokes, heart disease and diabetes when deaths during the most recent five-year period (2006-2011) are compared with deaths during the previous period (2002-2006).

Vance County also saw a decrease in rate of deaths from cancer, while Granville County registered a decrease in deaths from flu and pneumonia.

Death rates from chronic lung disease were up in both counties, as were death rates from flu and pneumonia in Vance County and cancer in Granville County.

When compared to statewide rates, both counties’ rates in all categories were higher, with the exception of Granville’s rate of deaths from flu and pneumonia, which was lower than the state rate.

The report tracked rates of fatalities to children from 2007 through 2011. In both counties, the rates dropped during the period, in Vance County, by 54.7 percent and in Granville County, by 38.7 percent.

In 2011, eight child deaths occurred in Vance County and five in Granville County. Three deaths — the result of homicide, unsafe sleeping space and mother’s use of drugs — were determined to be preventable.

Coming next: Reproductive health and pregnancy outcomes.

Contact the writer at dirvine@hendersondispatch.com.