Health status of the population belongs to the number of the most important factors defining the quality of life of the humanity. Unfortunately, we cannot say that the members of different minority groups possess the same health status as other citizens of the United States. Despite the fact that African Americans are the citizens of the United States having full rights, their health status is different due to many reasons.
Present Health Status of African Americans
It is common knowledge that the government should provide all its citizens with equal opportunities; nevertheless, when we talk about the people who belong to racial minorities, it is necessary to assume that their health situation is different from the one of the people who present the majority of the population. As for African Americans living in the United States, their present health status is not equal to the national average one. It happens because there are certain social tendencies that have a negative influence on health situation of all African American population. Many sources claim that average live span of African Americans is a few years shorter than that of white people and this fact definitely counts in favour of inequality that extends into the field of healthcare (Racial and ethnic minority populations, 2016, para. 10). What is more, they experience greater mortality from smoking than their compatriots who belong to the racial majority.
To continue, the inequality of positions of African Americans and white people that often occurs in the modern society also produces a negative effect on people’s health. For example, among African Americans there are more people who are below the poverty line, and this is why they tend to have less access to healthcare. It often happens that they cannot afford necessary medicaments. As for the health of African American children, the situation also seems to be unpromising. African American infants are two times more likely to die during the first age of their life than white infants. As for the maternal mortality rates, African American maternity patients die about three times more often that mothers belonging to other ethnical groups. This fact also shows that the issue of African American people’s health is urgent and necessary measures should be taken.
Health Disparities for African Americans and Health Promotion
Unfortunately, the health situation of many racial and ethnical minorities is influenced by numerous health disparities that exist due to imperfections of modern social system and unfair distribution of the resources between the citizens. There are a lot of health disparities having an impact on the life of average African American person. In general, these disparities result from a great poverty level among African American people. Many people who belong to this racial minority have no access to professional development. In other words, they lack education and it affects their health in many ways. As a result, they are less aware of signs of different health conditions that can threaten human life. For example, it is believed that people who lack education “are more likely to experience a number of health risks, such as obesity, substance abuse, and intentional and unintentional injury” (Health disparities, 2015, para.3). This problem is extremely important as such behavior may give rise to complications or even cause death. What is more, some people belonging to this race are deprived of full access to health services.
There is a strong link between health promotion practices and the attitudes of racial minority group. To put it in other words, health promotion and its current condition are connected to the attitudes and opinions that the minority group expresses. Activity of the representatives of racial minorities in the field of health development presents the factor that is likely to change the current situation for the best. It can also make all the people belonging to these minorities realize that the problem is urgent but it has a solution. Besides, different health promotion events help to attract more attention of the society to the specific challenges that African American people face.
An Approach to Health Promotion
Nowadays, a variety of approaches to increase health awareness among racial minorities are used, but some of them appear to be more effective than other ones. Personally, I believe that among all the methods of improving the situation that were proposed by REACH organization, the one connected to developing new clinical services programs would be the best for African Americans. According to the idea proposed by the activists, a community addressing the health problems of African American people is going to collaborate with consulting physicians in order to hold a few training events and make the information on health education available for the minorities (Racial and ethnic approaches to community health, 2016, para. 13). I am sure that such a decision will be the best for this group, as the lack of knowledge remains one of the most dangerous factors defining the present unfavorable health situation. If we consider this method taking into consideration three levels of health promotion, the method will be more likely to be one of the measures of tertiary prevention as it is about providing the patients with necessary knowledge.
Health disparities. (2015). Web.
Racial and ethnic minority populations. (2016). Web.
Racial and ethnic approaches to community health. (2016). Web.