Health is not always attributed to age, weight, and sex alone. Different races, cultures, or even sexual orientation can exhibit unique health issues that are sometimes swept to the side. If the world is only looking at generalized health issues those who are suffering from unique ailments and don’t have a large enough voice in the community could get lost, and getting lost when it comes to our health is unacceptable. This is why the month of April has been dedicated to bringing awareness to the topic of minority health.
Importance of Minority Health
Increase of Diversity
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states, “Approximately 36 percent of the population belongs to a racial or ethnic minority group.” With a number that large it seems almost ridiculous that healthcare is equally looked at or distributed to all groups. Diversity is only growing, and the more it increases, the more minority health will matter to everyone.
Steps towards Equality
For centuries humanity has taken brave and bold steps towards equality for all people. But, how can we say that things are still stepping in the right direction if even the most basic human right of living healthy isn’t a priority for all races and ethnicities? What makes minority health month important, is that it will finally be a brand new step towards that harmonious equality we all dream about.
More Health Developments
As mentioned before the world is growing more diverse, and that probably won’t change anytime soon. So, what do you suppose will happen in the future if we are not fully aware of unique racial or ethical differences? Basically, we will all be lost and extremely unprepared. Also, there is never such a thing as learning too much about human health. The more we learn, the better we can grasp ideal health standards.
Breaking it down as simply as possible, if you want healthier people you increase health facilities. If you increase health facilities, the economy gets a boost through increased land development and employment. Many of the issues with minority health are low-income areas. If awareness of minority health rises then those areas may receive funding for a much-needed boost, which in turn will boost economy all around.
Important Topics in Minority Health
- Environmental contamination
- Access to high-quality health care and insurance
- Access to healthy food and essential nutrients
- Vaccination policies
- Economic development
- Equal opportunities education
The Tough Statistics
- At least 50% non-Hispanic blacks are more likely to die of heart disease or stroke before 75 than non-Hispanic whites.
- Adult diabetes is higher among non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, and those of mixed race than among Asians and non-Hispanic whites.
- Obesity is highly correlated to race and ethnicity, sex, and education level.
- Lack access to a healthier food retailer is four times more likely for those living in rural census tracts.
- The highest drug-induced death rates are in American Indians/Alaska Natives and non-Hispanic whites.
How Do We Help
The first step is always to be aware and care about the importance of the issue. Know it exists and desire deeply to do something about it. Empathy should always be present.
Do your own research, or read up on what others have already learned. There are many amazing sites that are passionate about the topic of minority health and have great resources. A great place to start is The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD).
Now that you know something about the topic, it’s time to spread the word and get talking. Remember that just because you are spreading the word now doesn’t mean you no longer have to listen. Be bold and keep asking questions to help you discover sides of the topic you never even thought about.
Also, know the 7 Steps to Being Healthier!