African Americans are one of the communities in the United States with poor sanitary conditions. They are grouped in the ethnic and racial minorities that currently sum up to a third of the whole nation. They are mainly characterized by having the same health problems and suffer from different disorders and mental illness with poor treatment service. They especially experience an enormous deadweight of health problems due to inappropriate care and access to treatment. Black Americans usually have a big challenge when it comes to getting treatment for the preventable disease as compared to the whites (Kronenfeld, 2012). The health of the nation is mainly determined by the health of the minority group. The number of deaths has increased in the United States due to a big percentage of the minority group.
Most of the African Americans suffer from diseases like; hypertension, cancer, obesity, sexually transmitted infections and diabetes. Most of their people have not engaged in health care education (In Chang, In Downey, In Hirsch, & In Lin, 2016). The ancient slavery in the United States has contributed to the poor health condition of the African Americans. During the slavery time, the African Americans were brutalized mentally and physically and were given inadequate health care. In this paper will discuss some of the things that have led to poor access to health services among the African Americans, the health disparities and the primary needs of health care. Some of the health services that represents health needs socially include; workforce, acceptance, exertion and policies. This health services affects the health risks and wants by improving them. These social health needs can also be influenced by health risks and the population health status. African American health is characterized by poor health services, mortality and morbidity which are the primary care needs, health risks and health disparities together with the social causes of health.
Causes of Health Disparities
Poverty, access to healthy food, exposure to the environment, criminal justice, violence, housing, education, and racism are the main social causes of health disparities. Due to racism, the African Americans have suffered from discrimination by the Whites which has increased the rate of health disparities. Racism is mainly characterized by low standards of education, employment, and income. In the United States, the African American who are counted to be employed are very few and are mainly exposed to hazardous conditions such as exposure to harmful allergens. Their children usually undergo to low-quality education as compared to those of the whites who are offered with high standards of learning together with a better environment. Due to all these challenges of racism, the African Americans engage themselves in illegal drugs which they are accessible to them to access (Fitzpatrick, Villarruel, & Porter, 2014). This leads to a daily life full of stress that ends up increasing the morbidity number. The Africans Americans do not take health as a priority. They only believe that their health depends upon circumstances and lucky chances without thinking of utilizing the available health information as a way of preventing diseases.
Poverty involves mainly lacking the basic needs like, clothing, clean and healthy food and shelter which is primarily housing. African American has been getting the lowest allowances in their places of work this has contributed to their poor housing. Poverty goes hand in hand with a disease such as diabetes, low birth weights, and obesity, increased levels of mortality and morbidity and poor health conditions (Coordinating Center for Health Promotion (U.S.). 2012). Segregated housing, inadequate housing are some of the factors that lead to health issues like heart diseases and diseases of the breathing systems like asthma. Since the African American live in hazardous locations, they are more prone to all these diseases as compared to the whites. Inadequate transportation is another factor that can contribute to lack of access to health facilities and inadequate response to urgent emergencies
The African Americans have no access to high quality and fresh foods, and since they consume a lot of stale and poor quality food, they are at a high risk of suffering from diabetes and obesity. Violence is a fundamental cause of health disparities (The U.S., 2013). It mainly leads to premature deaths when there is a fight between a pregnant mother and the father, disabilities and severe injuries. Violence has led to increased homicide between the Africans Americans where their families end up losing their breadwinner.
The Three Main Levels of Health Promotion Prevention
Primary, secondary and tertiary are the three top levels used in health promotion prevention. Primary levels have a goal of preventing an injury or disease before is spreading while high school level involves reducing the cause of the disease that has already affected a population. Tertiary level requires at weakening the reasons for the injury that has lasting problems (Liao, CCDPHP, & CDCP, 2012). The primary level is the best level to be applied when dealing with the African American since it only involves educating them on how to control or be safe from diseases, immunizing the against deadly diseases. In addition, banning the use of dangerous products that can affect them which doing all this will require smaller cost as compared to using secondary and tertiary levels. Some of the approaches used in health promotion prevention are environmental strategies, community programs for health care services, surveillance, and epidemiology. Environmental approach is the best approach that can be employed together with the primary level since is encourages health care values in places like schools, hospitals or clinics, and worksite where the African-Americans can attend without any payments.
To sum up, the mission of eradicating health problems from the African Americans should involve community empowerment and group work and sensitize mostly on culture. A national effort is required to fight health disparities among the blacks.
Coordinating Center for Health Promotion (U.S.). (2012). Racial and ethnic approaches to community health (REACH) U.S: Finding solutions to health disparities 2007. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion.
Fitzpatrick, J. J., Villarruel, A. M., & Porter, C. P. (2014). Eliminating health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. New York: Springer Pub. Co.In Chang, E. C., In Downey, C. A., In Hirsch, J. K., & In Lin, N. J. (2016). Positive psychology in racial and ethnic groups: Theory, research, and practice.
Kronenfeld, J. J. (2012). Social sources of disparities in health and health care and linkages to policy, population concerns, and providers of care. Bingley, U.K: Emerald.
Liao, Y., National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (CCDPHP)., & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP). (2012). Surveillance of health status in minority communities: Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health Across the U.S. (REACH U.S.) Risk Factor Survey, United States, 2009. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The United States. (2013). Healthcare: Approaches to address racial and ethnic disparities: briefing for Congressional Staff of Senator Bill Frist, Majority Leader, United States Senate. Washington, D.C: United States General Accounting Office.
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