An ABC News' 20/20 report to air Friday cites Shelby County — which includes Memphis, Tenn. — as having an infant mortality rate higher than any city in the U.S.
A baby dies every 43 hours in Shelby County, according to the state health department.
This rate is higher than that of any other major city.
The babies at risk? They are mostly from parts of the town that are poor and black.
The public cemetery, which houses many of these deceased babies, is called “Babyland,” which incidentally is the title of Friday night’s show.
Every Tuesday and Thursday, the health department steps in and assists the families who cannot pay for funerals.
Many of these babies die because of premature births, and many of the mothers are young and unmarried. But, instead of dwelling on these facts, the community has pulled together to form a grassroots effort in order to address the problem.
For example, Terry Drumright, a wealthy woman from the suburbs, mentored Andreah “Precious” Simpson who became pregnant at the age of 17.
Simpson, 18, said she hopes her 16-day-old baby will make it to her first birthday.
"Whenever I call (Drumwright), she'll come by to help me. She's great," Simpson said.