DETROIT (WWJ) – Children are dying in Detroit at a greater rate than any U.S. city its size or larger, according to a new study by the Detroit News.

The report cites the greater health risks from childhood illnesses Detroit kids face, as well as increasing violence.

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Dr. Herman Gray, a pediatrician with the Detroit Medical Center for more than 30 years, called the report staggering.

This a public health emergency, he told WWJ’s Chrystal Knight.

“This is not just a challenge for the health care delivery system or the social service system, and the juvenile justice system. This is a challenge for out entire community, our entire society,” Gray said.

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“How do we create environments where children can — and prior to conception, mothers can be — healthy and cared for and grow up in safe, and healthy communities.”

He said while a large part of the solution must come from society as a whole. He also believes that individual responsibility, such as good parenting, is key.

“My mother wasn’t college educated and came from very modest means. This story is told over and over again in America. But she recognized the importance of discipline, taking care of her children, knowing where her kids are, taking responsibility for what they’re doing,” Gray said.

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Check out the study HERE.