The Hispanic population is becoming the largest minority group in the USA. The Latino population makes up over 16% of the US population, and it is growing at a considerable pace. Thus, it has been estimated that Hispanic people will constitute 30% of the American population by 2050 (Edelman, Mandle & Kudzma, 2013). Therefore, it is crucial to make sure that this group’s health status is at an appropriate level.
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At present, the Hispanic population is specifically prone to such serious health issues as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, sexually transmitted disorders and HIV (Health, United States, 2016). Since prevention is the US healthcare systems’ priority, it is important to make sure that the prevention strategies employed will be effective with this population. It is crucial to make sure that preventive measures are aligned with the population’s needs and cultural peculiarities.
Health Status and Disparity
Prior to focusing on the prevention, it is important to identify the populations’ needs and view on health promotion. As has been mentioned above, the Hispanic population is prone to obesity especially among teenagers as almost 23% of Latino adolescents are obese (Health, United States, 2016). The rate of white teenagers diagnosed with obesity is 19.2%. Sutton and Parks (2013) claim that there is an epidemic of HIV among the Hispanic population in the USA.
The rate of sexually transmitted infections is also very high. Clearly, there are also such issues as various infections like influenza that also have an adverse effect on people’s overall wellbeing. At the same time, the rate of Hispanic people who do not have any insurance is quite alarming (around 35%) (Health, United States, 2016). The number of uninsured white Americans is only slightly over 10% (Health, United States, 2016).
More so, healthcare professionals often fail to promote healthy lifestyle behavior among Hispanic Americans (Arellano-Morales, Wood & Elder, 2013). The lack of access to high-quality healthcare services is one of the reasons for the low health status of the Hispanic population. Besides, Hispanic people often have linguistic difficulties as their English is insufficient for proper communication with healthcare professionals. Many Hispanic people do not have legal status and cannot access any healthcare services. More so, these people fear to address healthcare facilities as they are afraid of being detained and sent back to their homeland.
Views on Health Promotion
The low rate of insured people among Hispanic people is due to this population’s socioeconomic status. However, cultural peculiarities also play an important role in the way Hispanic Americans address healthcare professionals. For instance, these people are highly religious, and family bonds are very strong. Thus, when a person is ill, older relatives are addressed in the first place. Illness is seen as a sign of imbalance or a cause of some sinful behavior (Edelman et al., 2013).
At the same time, Edelman et al. (2013) add that health promotion is defined as living a good life balancing pleasures and abstinence. It is noteworthy that good appetite is seen as a sign of health, and parents often encourage their children to eat more, which leads to their obesity. It is also necessary to add that the strong reliance of religion among Latino population leads to low awareness about healthy sex behaviors (Sutton & Parks, 2013). More so, regular check-ups are also regarded as wrongful, which leads to a high rate of sexually transmitted infections among the Hispanic population.
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Prevention Strategy to Utilize
It is clear that the Hispanic population will benefit most from a primary prevention strategy as the major health issues are mainly preventable. A wide-reaching educational program should be implemented to address this population healthcare issues. This strategy will cover several areas: educational, health care and community-based. First, it is necessary to note that religion will become the basis of this strategy as the majority of Hispanic people are highly religious (Sutton & Parks, 2013).
The educational system will involve the incorporation of certain training on the healthy lifestyle. For primary and middle school, the focus should be made on dietary habits as sports while adolescents should know more about healthy sex behavior. At that, these training sessions should be developed on the basis of Catholic beliefs as the majority of Hispanic people practice this religion.
Healthcare facilities should also launch certain training for healthcare professionals especially nurses who should explain the benefits of healthy behavior to Hispanic patients. Spanish lessons for nurses can also be provided. At that, healthcare professionals should promote healthy lifestyles and make sure that their instructions are consistent with the patients’ beliefs. Training courses for patients and their caregivers, as well as people living in the community, can also be launched.
Finally, Hispanic people have strong bonds within their communities. This should be used for health promotion. The church can play a central role in people’s health education. Clearly, media will also be instrumental. Various charities, as well as governmental organizations, should launch community-based health promotion campaigns.
On balance, it is possible to note that Hispanic Americans are still an underprivileged group that has limited access to healthcare services. The major health issues are related to healthy lifestyle, which makes educational prevention strategies effective. Clearly, the prevention campaigns should be developed on the basis of Hispanic people’s beliefs.
Arellano-Morales, L., Wood, C., & Elder, J. (2013). Acculturation among Latino primary caregivers and physician communication: Receipt of advice regarding healthy lifestyle behaviors. Journal of Community Health, 38(1), 113-119. Web.
Edelman, C.L., Mandle, C.L., & Kudzma, E.C. (2013). Health promotion throughout the life span. Saint Louis, MO: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Sutton, M. & Parks, C. (2013). HIV/AIDS prevention, faith, and spirituality among Black/African American and Latino communities in the United States: Strengthening scientific faith-based efforts to shift the course of the epidemic and reduce HIV-related health disparities. Journal of Religion and Health, 52(2), 514-530. Web.