The African Americans health status has recorded a higher vulnerability to diseases such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, STIs, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. The rate of these ailments in the black Americans is higher than in the white Americans. The contrast depends on different conditions, for instance, access to health care facilities and services, housing standards and nutrition in the diets of both the American whites and African Americans (Byrd, & Clayton, 2001). In 2014 a statistic showed that the rate of illegal drug abuse in black Americans aged 12 years and above was 12.4% while the national average was 10.2%. Binge drinking in African Americans aged 12 and over recorded 21.6% of 23% of the national average. Lastly, binge drinking in underage black Americans recorded 8.5% as compared to the national average of 13.8% in the year 2014.
In 2015, African Americans reported higher death rates as compared to the white Americans. The deaths resulted from heart-related diseases, pneumonia, asthma, stroke, HIV/AIDS, influenza, cancer, and diabetes. When promoting health among this minority group, much needs to be put into consideration than just catering for the health care. The white Americans suffer from most of the diseases that affect the African Americans. However, the white Americans are in a better position to access medication and afford to pay for it. Health promotion in the African Americans is defined as changing the situations that encourage the spread of diseases as well as making healthcare more accessible and affordable. For instance, the people planning to promote health in the African American community should think broadly about the issue and not limit themselves to treatment alone. For one to encourage healthcare wellness to this minority group, they need to start by creating a good relationship between them and the African Americans. The members of this community need to a conducive environment that can help them build a rapport with the health caregivers as well as gain their trust. The people need to be educated on the importance of seeking professional health advice and even the significance of going for checkups regularly.
The African Americans minority group is affected by several health disparities like ethnicity, socioeconomic status, race, culture, and socio-political barriers. Health disparities between the blacks and whites living in the US have existed for centuries now (Williams, Mohammed, Leavell, & Collins, 2010). Racial inequality in health among the African Americans is pervasive because it limits their access to education and employment hence segregating them to a particular socioeconomic class. The health of the blacks in America has deteriorated or improved at a slower pace when compared with that of the white Americans. Racism can expose one to stress and stigma of being discriminated and this can increase chances of psychiatric problems to the discriminated race. In the US, racism limits the black Americans from accessing health care. The most considerable healthcare barrier is the lack of health insurances covers but even then, those who can afford medication risk being discriminated for their race and socioeconomic status hence receiving poor quality services. In some cases, inequalities in the health sector are experienced based on different ethnic groups. This bias is evidence on how the doctors prescribe the medications and the treatment procedures.
Some statistics show that some people fail to seek medical help due to the fear of being exposed to racism. Also, harmful industries and waste disposal sites tend to be set based on racism so in most cases they will be situated in the environments where the minority communities live. Since 25 centuries ago when most Africans arrived in the US as slaves, there has been a lot of biases among them and the rest of the American population. This has since affected the way the African Americans receive their healthcare. The socioeconomic difference in the United States explains the differences in many aspects of life such as educational experiences, the neighborhood condition, and health care. If the African Americans had good education that explained to them the need for health education and how to keep their environment disease free, the rate of diseases would be lower than recorded. Education is very paramount when it comes to promoting health. It is clear that socioeconomic affects all the healthcare outcomes; in that, people with low education levels also report poor health statuses.
Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health is a program led by the CDC to try and reduces the health disparities caused by race and ethnicity. The REACH plans and implements program that works towards bridging the health gap between the minority communities and the whites (Griffith et al., 2011). This is because the groups believe that every person deserves good healthcare irrespective of their ethnic groups and the minority communities arent any different. People are cultured differently, and some may grow up without being taught the importance of healthcare and thus, they need to be taught at some point how to monitor their health and seek help without hesitation.
Health promotion has three levels; primary, secondary and tertiary. The African American minority group can be suited for the primary level of health promotion. This level deals with preventive measures and includes the practices and behaviors that can be embraced to reduce the levels of diseases and illnesses. For instance, in cases of obesity, the minority community members can choose to watch their diet and do light exercises to avoid becoming overweight. Also, most diseases are encouraged and caused by habits like smoking, binge drinking, binge eating and stress/pressure. Smoking, for instance, causes most of the related respiratory diseases as well as the liver and heart. One can control the possibility of these by saying no to smoking and leading a healthy life.
The primary level of health promotion can be effective among the black Americans because prevention is cheaper as compared to treatment and medication in general. Most people in this minority group blame their poor health outcomes on poverty and lack of health insurance policies. In this case, they can take up the challenge of living a healthy life by avoiding the practices and behaviors that can affect their health negatively. Abuse of drug and binge drinking should be reduced significantly among the black Americans. This is the only level of health promotion that can cover all the members of this minority group costing them nothing but their commitment and decision to lead a healthy lifestyle. In conclusion, it would be advisable for people in a minority group to try and save up for health insurances and also try booking appointments with doctors for their general health checkups. This way they can be able to know what preventive measures they should take to keep off terminal illnesses.
Griffith, D. M., Johnson, J., Zhang, R., Neighbors, H. W., & Jackson, J. S. (2011). Ethnicity, Nativity and the Health of American Blacks. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 22(1), 142156. http://doi.org/10.1353/hpu.2011.0011
National Research Council, & Committee on Population. (2004). Critical perspectives on racial and ethnic differences in health in late life. National Academies Press.
Williams, D. R., Mohammed, S. A., Leavell, J., & Collins, C. (2010). Race, Socioeconomic Status, and Health: Complexities, Ongoing Challenges, and Research Opportunities. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1186, 69101. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.05339.x
\Byrd, W. M., & Clayton, L. A. (2001). Race, medicine, and healthcare in the United States: a historical survey. Journal of the National Medical Association, 93(3 Suppl), 11S34S.
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