WASHINGTON (WMBD) — The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) will be awarded millions to support maternal health in Illinois.

According to a press release from U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), IDPH will be awarded $5,339,317 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The funding will go towards supporting IDPH in identifying, reviewing, and characterizing maternal deaths, developing new treatments for pregnancy and postpartum complications, and identifying prevention opportunities.

“Despite being one of the richest and most advanced nations, the United States is facing a dire crisis when it comes to maternal health, particularly for women and babies of color,” Durbin said. “Many of these deaths are preventable if met with the right interventions and health care. Today’s announced federal funding is a victory for maternal health care, but I won’t stop pushing for further investments into maternal and postpartum care.”

Maternal mortality claims about 700 American moms a year on average. 70,000 women also suffer near-fatal health complications.

“Think about what the maternal mortality crisis means in human terms,” Duckworth said. “Think about how many daughters will grow up with their mothers by their sides, or how many little boys will get to have their moms teach them to tie their shoes if we confront this. This federal support for the Illinois Department of Public Health is an important push that could help address this crisis.”

According to IDPH, on average 73 new Illinois mothers die every year, with more than 70% deemed preventable.

More information related to Maternal Health is available on IDPH’s website.