As maternal mortality rates continue to skyrocket amongst Black and Brown communities, the need for medical accountability continues to increase. The Irth app, to that end, hopes to bridge the gap between accountability and communication.
According to Black News, the NYC-based and Black woman-owned app — which is now available in the Google Play and Apple app stores — has a specific aim in mind: to target racism and bias in health care.
The company says their name is inspired by the word “birth,” but without the “b” for “bias.”
Irth was founded by Kimberly Seales Allers, a former senior editor at Essence, a five-time author, and a maternal health advocate. For her, it was most important for doctors and other health care providers to be accountable in how they treat their Black and Brown patients — and if they couldn’t be, then it was up to the public to make them.
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“When I had my first child, I asked white co-workers and friends for recommendations, read all the “Best of” lists for hospitals, and was excited to deliver at a highly-ranked institution. Instead, I left feeling dismissed, disrespected, and traumatized. Exactly opposite to what my white peers had experienced. At that time in my life, I was not yet married and was finishing graduate school, and was therefore on student health insurance. And that’s how I was treated—like an unwed Black woman with basic insurance. I never forgot that,” says Seals Allers.
“People are not being treated the same way even at the same place. Countless studies point to the prevalence of racism and bias in providing care. Yet Black and brown birthing people, who are disproportionately dying during and after childbirth within the hospital medical system, have no way of knowing how someone like them experienced a doctor or provider. We deserve a public platform to share with others where we are receiving good care.”
Find Irth on their official website.