Medical assistance to the population may concern not only scheduled inspections and help those who apply for it. In some cases, promoting health among certain categories of the population is an important task that allows reducing risk factors and mortality rate. The role of healthcare employees is essential since not all citizens are ready to seek consultations. As an example of interventions aimed at promoting health among a specific category of the population, the Hispanic immigrant community will be taken as a basis.
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The use of relevant information about this group, for instance, environmental threats, socioeconomic factors, and other aspects, may provide comprehensive information on the selected category. Based on the data presented, potentially successful activities aimed at health promotion among immigrants will be given. The use of specific criteria may allow finding possible methods to improve health literacy among a specific category of the population and achieving positive patient outcomes.
Latin American immigrants living in the United States make up a large group of people. Despite significant social assimilation, many members of this population group continue to experience difficulties in accessing medical services, despite recent healthcare reforms. Moreover, the situation is complicated by the various cultural characteristics of this community, in particular, lifestyle, behavioral habits, and other related factors.
In order to offer potentially valuable interventions aimed at raising the level of health among the Hispanic immigrant community, it is necessary to consider important criteria affecting their life. Such analysis can make it possible to find the main problem areas in the life of the population under consideration and to apply modern strategies aimed at overcoming the indicated challenges.
Aspects of Analysis
The following aspects of the life of the community in question will be analyzed as the main positions to be used: demographics, socioeconomics, environmental hazards, and access to healthcare. Based on the data obtained, the stages of further work can be thought out concerning the ways of improving the current situation. Each of the characteristics will be analyzed separately in order to obtain accurate and comprehensive information.
Hispanic immigrants make up a significant group of US residents. As Cristancho, Peters, and Garces (2014) argue, in 2014, approximately 11.1 million of them were registered, which was about 3% of the whole American population (p. 40). Today, this figure is certainly higher since more and more people from neighboring countries come to the US to find jobs and shelter. Therefore, they form communities where relatives and countrymen live, and such places are often overcrowded due to the inability of the authorities to provide immigrants with adequate housing conditions.
Immigrant families often live in conditions of insufficient income. At the same time, various factors affect this problem – the lack of jobs, bias towards the representatives of another culture, and other reasons. According to Rusch, Frazier, and Atkins (2015), “19 % live in poverty compared to 15 % of native-born with highest rates among Latino immigrants” (p. 1). In addition to the economic, social aspects of life are also associated with problems. Philbin, Flake, Hatzenbuehler, and Hirsch (2018) note that there are difficulties with access to education in some immigrant communities, which negatively affects the literacy rate of the population and, as a consequence, further employment prospects. Therefore, this factor is also a significant challenge for the group under consideration.
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Latin American immigrants are exposed to almost the same environmental risks as other US residents. As Cristancho et al. (2014) remark, quite often, the residents of rural areas have limited resources to protect housing from natural threats – hurricanes, floods, and other disasters. Also, according to Philbin et al. (2018), judicial nuances may carry a certain hazard to the safe residence of immigrants since various laws and reforms often provide for restricting the rights of visitors. However, in general, the environmental factor is the least significant in the context of the need for health promotion.
Access to Healthcare
Recently, the state has attempted to expand the access of the low-income categories of the population to medical services by providing freer opportunities for health insurance. However, the problem of biased attitude towards visitors still exists. For instance, Rhodes et al. (2015) conduct a survey about the satisfaction with the state policy in relation to immigrants. According to the authors, their respondents note that “ineligibility for state-issued driver’s licenses and the threat of police enforcement while driving” are the primary barriers (Rhodes et al., 2015, p. 332). Therefore, more attention should be paid to topical issues related to access to healthcare services.
Mortality and Morbidity Risk Factors
Regarding mortality and morbidity risk factors, interventions are mandatory since there are many urgent problems. The category of immigrants in question is prone to certain diseases. As Philbin et al. (2018) argue, Hispanics “experience higher rates of morbidity and mortality for specific chronic conditions compared to non-Latinos” (p. 34). In addition, such an indicator as life expectancy is also a critical factor. According to Cristancho et al. (2014), Hispanics live less than local residents, and mortality from certain diseases exceeds the average figures: “stroke (+18%), chronic liver disease and cirrhosis (+62%) and diabetes (+41%)” (p. 40).
The first issue may be caused by cardiovascular diseases that are prevalent among this population. Problems with the liver are associated with addiction to alcohol, and appropriate measures are to be taken to reduce its consumption. The high risk of diabetes may be due to improper eating habits. In addition to these three issues, it is possible to mention the tendency to HIV/AIDS. Its rate is also higher among immigrants than non-Latinos due to the lack of awareness of how the virus is transmitted and what protection is needed (Philbin et al., 2018). All these nuances have to be taken into account when drawing up a health promotion program for this population group.
Health Promotion Activities
In order to help Latin American immigrants to improve their health situation, it is essential to select an appropriate intervention plan for each of the issues identified. To achieve a reduction in the number of strokes, it is necessary to encourage people to measure blood pressure periodically and to propose a healthy lifestyle for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. To eliminate liver illnesses, a program to help immigrants suffering from alcohol addiction should be offered since this reason is usually a key one. Promoting a healthy lifestyle is also essential for reducing the number of patients with diabetes.
Nutritionist counseling may be a useful program for correcting problems caused by an increase in blood sugar levels. Finally, conversations with the public should be held about the necessary prevention of HIV infection in order to improve the literacy of immigrants regarding the modes of transmission of the virus and its consequences. All of these interventions may help to reduce the aforementioned rates and achieve a higher level of health among the population in question.
To promote health among Latin American immigrants living in the United States, appropriate interventions should be prepared based on certain factors and criteria of life. This category of the population has many problems associated with medicine, including limited access, a tendency to a number of diseases, the lack of funds to pay for services, and some other challenges. Nevertheless, well-thought-out interventions aimed at eliminating the identified health problems may help to improve the level of public health and achieve positive patient outcomes.
Cristancho, S., Peters, K., & Garces, M. (2014). Health information preferences among Hispanic/Latino immigrants in the US rural Midwest. Global Health Promotion, 21(1), 40-49. Web.
Philbin, M. M., Flake, M., Hatzenbuehler, M. L., & Hirsch, J. S. (2018). State-level immigration and immigrant-focused policies as drivers of Latino health disparities in the United States. Social Science & Medicine, 199, 29-38. Web.
Rhodes, S. D., Mann, L., Simán, F. M., Song, E., Alonzo, J., Downs, M.,… Reboussin, B. A. (2015). The impact of local immigration enforcement policies on the health of immigrant Hispanics/Latinos in the United States. American Journal of Public Health, 105(2), 329-337. Web.
Rusch, D., Frazier, S. L., & Atkins, M. (2015). Building capacity within community-based organizations: New directions for mental health promotion for Latino immigrant families in urban poverty. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 42(1), 1-5. Web.